Honoring 3 Black Women Trailblazers

The Grovery, a division of Mota9, is proud of its 75% female leadership make-up. In celebration of Black History Month, our leadership team compiled a list of three influential black women who have paved the way for all women. Their various contributions and achievements, whether through activism, business endeavors, the arts and so much more, have undoubtedly laid the groundwork and forged a trail for future generations to come.

Madam C.J. Walker — Inventor (1867–1919)

Credit:  Smith Collection/Gado/age fotostock

Madam C.J. Walker is a pioneer, civil rights activist, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and inventor who straight up changed African American women’s hair game. With very little finances, not only did Madam C.J. Walker create and market hair care products nationally, including the first hair straightening product for black hair, she provided economic independence for other black women to sell her products as sales agents (over 25,000 agents we might add).

As the first person in her family to be born free, Madam C.J. Walker overcame poverty to become the first African American female millionaire pioneering the way for women of color. During black history month, and every month, we salute you Madam C.J. Walker for demonstrating to all that the American dream is possible.

Bozoma Saint John — Business Woman (Born 1977)

Credit: Image:  Tua Ulamac

Bozoma Saint John, otherwise known as @badassboz on IG, is nothing short of superstar status. She has headed up marketing and experience at iconic brands such as PepsiCo, Apple Music, and Uber, and has most recently taken the helm as Chief Marketing Officer at everyone’s favorite streaming service, Netflix.

In addition to her high profile professional roles, she was also dubbed “the coolest person to ever take the stage” at an Apple keynote by Buzzfeed, but, if we’re honest, she’s probably the coolest person to take the stage at many other events, too. Her to-die-for style, business acumen, and commitment to building community that raises the voices of Black women, puts her at the top of our list of leaders we admire.

Shonda Rhimes — Film/Producer/Writer/Author (Born 1970)

Credit: James White

Shonda Rhimes has made her way through our televisions, homes and hearts with Grey’s AnatomyHow To Get Away with MurderScandal and much more. The Golden Globe and Emmy award winner has continued to move the needle in casting diverse casts and talent, particularly people of color in lead roles. Much of her work unapologetically features controversial and thought-provoking storylines to raise awareness and spotlight injustices felt around the world.

In 2015, Shonda released the “Year of Yes” a memoir, published by Simon & Schuster that provides the reader with motivation to develop leadership skills with a “yes” mentality in situations that may be scary or out of comfort zones. The fresh and modern perspective to achieving goals and welcoming new experiences received raving reviews. Keep on shinin’ Shonda.

This list is just a drop in the lake of black female pioneers who have either helped pave the way or are continuing to carry on the trailblazing torch. We see you, we honor you and we salute you for your achievements.

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