Madam C.J. Walker
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Martha Matilda Harper
Harper was an entrepreneur who essentially created the modern hair salon, which she grew into a franchise of hundreds of stores across the world.
Madam C.J. Walker
America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.
The actual hero of the Ali Baba myth, this slave girl saves the titular character by singlehandedly dispatching the forty thieves - without him even knowing.
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.
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.
When the most powerful man in the world made plans on her country, she: turned down his marriage proposal, destroyed his armies, and defiled his head so famously that she became legend for centuries thereafter.
Fannie Lou Hamer
This uneducated, impoverished activist suffered unbelievable abuse in her journey to be able to vote -- but that did not stop her.
Mythological Irish princess who was turned into a worm, butterfly, and a pool of water; who induced the strangest pregnancy since Jesus; and who may hold the key to understanding Ireland's history.
When the Tsar became hellbent on nailing down her gender, this clever gender-nonconforming heroine kept him guessing to the end.
When the Portuguese took the throne from her, this Angolan queen made a new one: out of her own servant. She then fled to the jungle, conquered a tribe of cannibals, and waged war on the Portuguese for so long that they gave up and left.
Possibly the most cartoonishly evil woman to have ever existed, this Merovingian queen was an endless source of assassination attempts - including, on one memorable occasion, her own young daughter.
When enemies invaded her town while her husband was on lunch break, she grabbed a nearby pestle and saved the day by achieving the high score in soldier whack-a-mole.