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5 Badass Trailblazers in Literature

Read below to learn about 5 badass trailblazers in literature!

1773 Born c. 1753, Phillis Wheatley became the first published Black American woman poet in the American colonies. Captured in Senegal/Gambia at about the age of seven, Wheatley was raised in slavery by a progressive white family who taught her to read and write and encouraged her to develop her talents. White publishers, however, were so skeptical that an African slave could write poetry that they forced her to undergo an examination to determine if she was capable of authoring her own poems. She passed the exam and got her book published.


Gwendolyn Brooks became the first Black American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.


Nancy Hicks Maynard became the First Black American woman reporter hired by the New York Times. She also became the first Black woman to own a newspaper (with her husband) when she purchased the Oakland Tribune in 1983.


Rita Dove became the first Black US Poet Laureate.


Toni Morrison became the first Black American woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature.


A creator of safe spaces, and an initiator of difficult conversations, M.J. Fievre, B.S. Ed, spent much time building up her Black students, helping them feel comfortable in their skin, and affirming their identities. Her close relationships with parents and students led her to look more closely at how we can balance protecting our child’s innocence with preparing them for the realities of Black life. When―and how―do you approach racism with your children? How do you protect their physical and mental health while also preparing them for a country full of systemic racism? She began to research the issue and speak to school counselors and psychologists to find (and apply!) strategies parents and teachers can use with their children to broach uncomfortable but necessary topics.

M.J. is the author of Badass Black Girl, a daily dose of affirmations for Black Girls

“You'll come away from Badass Black Girl feeling as if you've known the author your entire life, and it's a rare feat for any writer.” ―“Mike, the Poet,” author of Dear Woman and The Boyfriend Book

#1 Gift Idea in Teen & Young Adult Cultural Heritage Biographies, Publishers Weekly Select Title for Young Readers

Affirmations for strong, fearless Black girls. Wisdom from Badass Black female trailblazers who accomplished remarkable things in literature, entertainment, education, STEM, business, military and government services, politics and law, activism, sports, spirituality, and more.

Explore the many facets of your identity through hundreds of big and small questions. In this journal designed for teenage Black girls, MJ Fievre tackles topics such as family and friends, school and careers, body image, and stereotypes. By reflecting on these topics, you will confront the issues that can hold you back from living your best life and discovering your Black girl bliss.

Embrace authenticity and celebrate who you are. Finding the courage to live as you are is not easy, so here’s a journal designed to help you nurture creativity, positive self-awareness and Black girl bliss. This journal honors the strength and spirit of Black girls.

Change the way you view the world. This journal provides words of encouragement that seek to inspire and ignite discussion. You are growing up in a world that tries to tell you how to look and act. MJ Fievre encourages you to fight the flow and determine for yourself who you want to be.

Badass Black Girl helps you to:

  • Build and boost your self-esteem with powerful affirmations

  • Learn more about yourself through insightful journaling

  • Become comfortable and confident in your authentic self


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