Fannie Lou Hamer
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One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the by-the-book Victorian rebel who revolutionized the field of medicine who stood in stark to Mary Seacole's jolly reliance on folk remedies and home comforts.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The godmother of rock and roll, this black bisexual singer fused gospel and pop to blaze her own way across the Jim Crow-era south.
This "untouchable" woman ended decades of abuse by starting a bandit gang and avenging the lower castes. After some time in prison, she got out, ran for parliament, and won.
Turned into a revolutionary in middle age, this mother became one of the Philippines most heralded women.
1920s Afghanistan was a progressive and rapidly-modernizing country in large part to the most powerful, empathic, and maligned queen it had ever seen.
The first naval admiral of modern times, she protected her country from foreign invaders with aplomb.
When a soldier raped her, this woman tossed him in a well and threw rocks at him until he died.
When this indigenous Brazilian warrior mermaid proved too awesome for her tribe, she just took up residence in the water, and started an aquatic harem of passers-by.
Matilda of Tuscany
Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.
Christine de Pizan
When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.