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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 Mongol stood up to the most fearsome man in the world and in so doing, prevented a genocide.
Labotsibeni Gwamile LaMdluli
When her husband inadvertently sold the country to colonial forces, this queen spent the rest of her life getting it back.
Viking princess who decided she'd rather be a pirate than get married.
When her kid was stolen from her, this ex-slave successfully sued to get him back; she then went on to become a forceful speaker for abolition across the United States.
After escaping the Armenian Genocide (by walking across the Syrian desert while pregnant), this woman went back into Armenia to rescue her sons, then made her way to America -- where she invented the recipe for Rice-a-Roni.
This stubborn empress led her native Ethiopia to do the unthinkable - defeat one of the major European powers in war.
Irish pirate queen who led decades of rebellions against England, met face-to-face with Elizabeth I, and got official license to…
When this princess had her life ruined by an unstoppable warrior, she: became a fervent ascetic for years and got a divine boon; killed herself to reincarnate faster; came back as a man; and killed the man who'd wronged her, in the stunning climax of the world's longest epic poem.
When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.