Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

—excerpt from “Phenomenal Woman” from Maya Angelou's And Still I Rise

They formed the backbones of their families and communities. They powered movements and pioneered in science, education, and technology. In each era of our nation's history, they reshaped their roles in society and reshaped society through their roles. Explore the stories of African American women as told through your national parks.

Visit the NPS Women's History site for a more complete look at women's history in the United States.

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    Last updated: September 24, 2018