[My] Top Inspirational Women of the Century

By Patrice Rivers

There are about a billion women in the world, nationally and internationally, that have inspired people in different communities. We all share our interest in different role models by writing about them and giving them a platform and a voice.  I think it is very important to recognize some of the inspirational women that have done something outstanding, whether they are still living or have passed on.  Most of these women have given us a voice to speak truth without feeling ashamed or afraid. 

(Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)

Maya Angelou: Angelou is definitely a legend who has made her mark in the African-American community. As a civil rights activist, poet and singer, she has received more than fifty honorary degrees. If you are familiar with some of her poetry, then you will also know that she is best-known for her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Even after Angelou’s passing, her work will always be remembered. What are some of your favorite poems by the legendary poet?  Mine is Still I Rise

Hattie McDaniel: As the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award, McDaniel has been an inspiration for African-American entertainers. She literally paved the way in the entertainment industry, making it possible for African-Americans to be first, to lead and to win an Academy Award.

Anne Frank: I definitely love her because she was very brave to tell her story during the Holocaust. One of the most well-known victims of the Holocaust, she wrote in her journal telling the raw and real look at the life of Jews in Nazi Germany. Her journal was later published as “The Diary of a Young Girl.” I also remembered when I was in middle school I went on a school trip to the Holocaust museum and was able to go through and see what the living was like; even hearing her voice of how she told the story. 

Mother Teresa: An inspirational spiritual figure for over 50 years, Mother Teresa also founded the Roman Catholic congregation, which has been active for 50 years. It has helped build schools and orphanages, managed homes of people dealing with homelessness, HIV, Leprosy and Tuberculosis.

Serena Williams: One of the greatest female tennis players of all times and a strong representative for women on and off the court. Check out her clothing line

Oprah Winfrey: The former talk show host and now owner and founder of her own television network, “Oprah Winfrey Network(OWN), Oprah is owning it all! With being an executive producer alongside Tyler Perry on shows such as “David Makes Man,” “Ambitions,” “Iyana Fix my Life,” “Queen Sugar,” “The Haves and the Have Nots” and others, her network is doing major things! Winfrey has always been an activist for women feminists and telling women of color that they can make a difference in their own communities. 

Who are some of your favorite inspirational women that have made an impact in either your life or in the world? List those women in the comments.

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Patrice Rivers is a journalist, a blogger and an author of seven books. Visit her website


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