We celebrate Black Herstory!

To celebrate Black History Month, we showcase our favorite Black women for their accomplishments and inspiration! Watch. Read. Share. Inspire!

Zora Neale Hurston
Mary Jackson
Shonda Rhimes

Three reasons why Zora Neale Hurston is an inspiration!

  1. As a cultural anthropologist, she studied community, translating her research into stories we read and learn from.
  2. Her use of dialect gave voice to people often unheard. She honored what they said AND how they said it.
  3. She committed to her craft — writing stories both researched and imagined until the last days of her life.

A few good reads from Dr. Tate’s bookshelf:

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Wrapped In Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd
Spunk: The Selected Short Stories of Zora Neale Hurston

Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston underscores the importance of HOW Bluknowledge advances equity. Learn more:


Mary Jackson, space pioneer, inspires on the home front!

In the biography, Hidden Figures, author Margot Lee Shetterly, offers us a glimpse into the home life of Mary Jackson.

Mary spends time with her son, Levi, designing and building a derby car for the 1960 soap box derby race.

While Levi becomes the first African-American to win the local race, it is his aspiration to be an engineer like his mother that inspires!


For years, Mary Jackson has inspired our Family STEM programming which empowers parents as STEM learners and leaders. Learn more:


Shonda Rhimes inspires us with her thoughtful representation of Black Women!

  • She features Black women that are unapologetic for their smarts, sass, and success.
  • She casts Black women as committed partners, loving mothers and daughters, and loyal aunties and friends.
  • She engages Black women in critical conversations, such as racial bias in our healthcare system, stolen Black girls who cannot be forgotten, and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on the Black community.

In the spirit of sisterhood, our founder, Dr. Erika D. Tate, joins eight courageous women who share their personal stories and practical advice for Other Woman of Color on the Rise!


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