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She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.
When a neighboring tribe threatened the Yoruba, this queen went undercover as a spy to find their weakness.
The poster child for childhood abuse, nobody should ever make a kids' movie about her.
This amateur dancer escaped a life of abuse by pretending to be an Indonesian princess - and eventually became a victim of the maniacal world of espionage.
Roundly-despised and unfairly-maligned seductress of the bible who ran afoul of the wrong priests.
Black, Muslim warrior queen of a tribe of griffin-riding Amazons - and the honest-to-god namesake of California.
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.
Madam C.J. Walker
America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.
Recruited widows, orphans, and prostitutes into an all-woman ninja spy group, the largest in Asia at the time.
Champion weightlifter, suffragette, mom - this "Lady Hercules" did it all.