Rosa Parks (1913-2005): Refusing to give up her seat in the White section of the bus started the Montgomery Bus Boycott and made Rosa Parks one of the most iconic women in history. This Etsy Shop top reads “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”
At 72, Davis continues to fight for civil, women’s and prisoner’s rights. She is more than a symbol of the struggle because she’s still fighting the struggle. The author, social activist and professor is fluent in French and has degrees from Brandeis University, the University of California San Diego and Humboldt University. You can buy this Angela Davis T-shirt on BlackNProud.net in various sizes for $30.
Fannie Lou Hammer (1917-1977): Educate passersby on this civil and voting rights activist who coined the phrase “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ForHarriet.com has a simple and crisply designed gray T-shirt for $25 that reads “Fight Like Fannie Lou.”
Ida B. Wells (1862-1931): This journalist, teacher, editor and activist was born enslaved but after emancipation, found freedom and advancement through education and public speaking. There are several styles of Ida B. Wells tees to choose from but this red one for $34.99 on PrepSportsWear.com is especially fetching.
Lena Horne (1917-2010): This gorgeous singer, dancer, civil rights activist and mother made the leap from the Cotton Club to Hollywood and never looked back. She broke down barriers with grace and strength and taught generations of black women about their inner and outer beauty. Go to BelleRebelBoutique.com for this easy and breezy $12 Lena in glasses T-shirt.
Marian Anderson (1897-1993): This American contralto broke down racial barriers with her voice and her talent. When the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to let Anderson perform in front of an integrated audience at Constitution Hall in 1939, she found a better alternative. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt allowed Anderson to instead sing in front 75,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The $23 on Etsy.com doesn’t say all that, but it’s pretty awesome all the same.
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913): These shirts with a message run about $30 and come in all sorts of styles on sites like CafePress.com and Zazzle.com celebrating this champion of the Underground Railroad, who was also a Union spy.
There’s the popular “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves.” Another good choice is Tubman’s quote on the feeling of freedom after being enslaved. “I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven.”
The Color Purple (1982): Written by Alice Walker, this story of sisterhood, love and life has become a staple in the Black community. Later adapted into a film and musical, The Color Purple has featured superstars from Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg to Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks. Out of Print Clothing reimagines iconic books as T-shirts. Other famous Black titles like Their Eyes Were Watching God and Invisible Man are available here.
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955): Give fashionable and overdue props to this trailblazing civil rights leader and government official who founded Bethune-Cookman College and the National Council of Negro Women. Sites like Granger.pixels.com offer nifty $22 T-shirts commemorating the legendary educator.
Maya Angelou (1928-2014): Angelou is a renowned author, poet, singer, dancer and activist. Her first of several autobiographies, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a literary masterpiece and her poems “Phenomenal Woman” and “Still I Rise” are poetic anthems. POP ATL commemorates her contribution to history with a shirt for $22.00.
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Known her activism in abolitionist and women’s rights, Truth led a triumphant life and delivered the dynamic speech “Aint I a Woman?” at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851. This graphic tee is $21.85 from Zazzle.com.
Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005): Born in Brooklyn, Chisholm went on to lead a dynamic political career while serving as an educator and author. Chisholm made history in 1972 when she became only the first woman, but the first Black woman to launch a presidential campaign. Cafe Press offers the “Unbought and Unbossed” t-shirt for $29.99.
Black History’s most iconic figures can be celebrated with the “Because of Them We Can” t-shirt. Saluting everyone from Martin to Malcolm and Rosa to Betty, becauseofthemwecan.com offers the signature shirt for $15.
Hair is the crowning glory of all Black women and the “I Love My Roots” t-shirt from an Etsy Shop appropriately celebrated that along with the countless historic figures that make the month of February such a special one to commemorate.
During the 1968 Olympics sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos each placed a black-glove one hand and raised their fist. The symbol become a salute to Black power and will forever be a political demonstration of strength and pride. This Etsy Shop offers it for $25.99.
Nina Simone (1933-2003): The pianist and singer was more than just that, she was also a civil rights activist and journalist who used her voice in music and beyond to fight for justice. For %17.99, this Etsy shop offers a great graphic tee to salute Simone’s legacy.