In honor of National Women’s History Month . . . just a few of the films through the years that featured strong women.

Strong Women Onscreen  was originally published on

1. Carmen Jones

Carmen Jones

Dorothy Dandridge received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Carmen Jones, in this contemporary version of the Bizet opera.

2. Claudine


Diahann Carroll received an Oscar nomination for her role as Claudine, a single mother raising 6 children in 1970’s Harlem.

3. Cleopatra Jones

Cleopatra Jones

She’s 6 feet 2” of “Dynomite.” She’s Tamara Dobson as U.S. Special Agent Cleopatra Jones.

4. Get Christie Love

Get Christie Love

Teresa Graves is sexy and sassy undercover cop Christie Love.

5. Lady Sings the Blues

Lady Sings the Blues

Diana Ross received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday.

6. The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Whoopi Goldberg stars in her Oscar nominated role as Celie Johnson, in this heartbreaking, and finally, empowering movie, based on Alice Walker’s novel and directed by Steven Spielberg.

7. Crooklyn


Spike Lee directs this semi-autobiographical movie starring the formidable Alfre Woodard and the adorable Zelda Harris.

8. Colombiana


Zoe Saldana is a bad-assassin.

9. Strange Days

Strange Days

Angela Bassett takes names, kicks butt, and protects Ralph Fiennes in this futuristic thriller, helmed by [future Oscar-winning] director, Kathryn Bigelow.

10. Mahogany


Do you know where she’s going to?…Diana Ross, that is, in this fabulous ‘70s classic, co-starring the smooth as velvet Billy Dee Williams.

11. What’s Love Got To Do With It

What’s Love Got To Do With It

I don’t know, ask Angela Bassett (Oscar nominated), channeling Tina Turner.

12. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild

The talented Quvenzhané Wallis was nominated for an Oscar for her role as the feisty Hushpuppy.

13. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang and Chow Yun-Fat pursue a legendary sword, with many beautifully choreographed fights in between.

14. Dreamgirls


And I’m telling you… no, no, there’s no way…you’re living without this movie…

15. Soul Food

Soul Food

An all-star cast, headed by Irma P. Hall as Mama Joe, have some soul food.

16. Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale

Forest Whitaker directs Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon