1. Michelle Obama
The first Black first lady is more than just an Ivy-league educated lawyer, philanthropist and fashion icon, she is also a role model for generations of Black women to come.
2. Shonda Rhimes
The producer, writer and creator of hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Scandal” is one of the most powerful and influential women in television and has made history time and again with her work.
3. Issa Rae
Issa Rae is living proof of the saying “if you build it, they will come.” Her series “Awkward Black Girl” on YouTube became a sensation that led to her inking a deal with HBO. Since then, her show “Insecure” has become a phenomenon where young Black millennial women get to see images of themselves on screen.
4. Ava DuVernay
The director has already made strides with hugely successful films like “Selma” and series like “Queen Sugar,” but she made history with the upcoming film “A Wrinkle In Time,” commanding a historic budget for a Black female director.
5. Oprah Winfrey
It’s hard to list all of Oprah’s many accomplishments — she’s made history as one of the most successful women in Hollywood, sits at the helm of her own magazine, her own network, multiple charity organizations and, oh, is also one of the richest people alive. Teach us your ways, Mama O!
6. Bozoma Saint John
Bozoma Saint John is one of the most successful women in tech. After her tenure at Beats, she became the top marketing exec for Apple Music before signing on as the Chief Brand Officer at Uber.
7. Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris had already made history as the first Black female Attorney General for the state of California, but she did it again in November when she became the first Black female senator in the state.