American Female Civil Rights Activists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Female Civil Rights Activists

 1 Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin.
4
Famous As: Singer & Activist
Birthdate: March 25, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 16, 2018

Widely regarded as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin was a singer-songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Aretha was ranked number one on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list in 2010. Having sold over 75 million records, she is also one of the best-selling musicians ever.

 2 Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks.
12
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: February 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States
Died: October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks, “the first lady of civil rights,” was a pioneer in the American revolution against color segregation and racism. Her refusal to leave her bus seat to a white passenger gave rise to the iconic Montgomery Bus Boycott, which also led her to work with Martin Luther King Jr.

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 3 Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette.
16
Famous As: Television Actress, Activist, Singer
Birthdate: March 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Pauley Perrette is a former actress, singer, and writer. Perrette is best known for portraying Abby Sciuto from 2003 to 2018 on the popular police procedural TV series NCIS. Also an activist, Pauley Perrette supports several animal rescue organizations, LGBT rights organizations, and civil rights organizations. Over the years, she has been an ardent supporter of the American Red Cross.

 4 Angela Davis

Angela Davis.
12
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 5 Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges.
6
Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: September 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tylertown
American civil rights activist Ruby Bridges became the first African-American child to attend an all-white educational institute when she joined the Louisiana-based William Frantz Elementary School in November 1960. She was the subject of Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With and the TV movie Ruby Bridges.

 6 Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou.
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: May 28, 2014
Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a champion for black feminism and is best remembered for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 50 honorary degrees was also a child sex abuse survivor.

 7 Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King.
7
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist, Author
Birthdate: April 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Heiberger
Died: January 30, 2006

The American civil rights activist was an ideal foil for her famous husband Martin Luther King Jr. in promoting racial equality. The author and singer led the Women's Movement and fought for the rights of the LGBT community. She was also known for mobilising African-Americans during the 1960 US presidential election. She founded the King Centre, a not-for-profit organization.

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 8 Lena Horne

Lena Horne.
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

 9 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells.
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

 10 Yolanda King

Yolanda King.
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama
Died: May 15, 2007

African American activist, Yolanda King, was the first-born child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Exposed to social justice activism at a young age, she grew up to be an outspoken supporter of civil rights and LGBTQA+ rights. She was also known for her artistic endeavors. She died of heart disease at 51. 

 11 Jane Elliott

Jane Elliott
3
Famous As: Schoolteacher
Birthdate: May 27, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Riceville, Mitchell County, Iowa, USA

 12 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
3
Famous As: Women’s Rights Activist
Birthdate: November 12, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: October 26, 1902

 13 Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: January 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 14 Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz
7
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: May 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pinehurst, Georgia, United States
Died: June 23, 1997

Civil rights activist and educator Betty Shabazz, or Betty X, was the wife of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X. Raised by her adoptive parents in Detroit, she met Malcolm X at a Nation of Islam event in Harlem. She died when her apartment was set on fire set by her grandson.

 15 Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde.
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City
Died: November 17, 1992

Author and poet Audre Lorde is remembered as a firebrand feminist and a champion for the LGBT community. Openly lesbian, she penned iconic volumes such as Cables to Rage and The Black Unicorn. She also recorded her 14-year struggle with cancer in The Cancer Journals and A Burst of Light.

 16 Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died: June 11, 2014

 17 Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin.
3
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: September 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Alabama, U.S.

 18 Viola Desmond

Viola Desmond.
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: July 6, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Died: February 7, 1965

Though born bi-racial, Viola Desmond became a Black icon for her business acumen. After not being allowed to train as a beautician in Halifax, she moved to Montreal. Her beauty products, salon, and training institute, all catering specifically to Black women, filled a major void in the beauty industry.

 19 Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: September 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.

 20 Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Montana, U.S

While she claimed she was a transracial Black woman, former NAACP branch president Rachel Dolezal was revealed to be a white woman passing off as Black when her parents spoke to the media. Following the mass protests after the revelation, she was fired from Eastern Washington University, her workplace.

 21 Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer.
3
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: October 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 14, 1977

 22 Denise Nicholas

Denise Nicholas.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

 23 Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan.
3
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston
Died: January 17, 1996

 24 Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta
3
Famous As: Trade unionist
Birthdate: April 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dawson

 25 Viola Liuzzo

Viola Liuzzo.
5
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: April 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: California, Pennsylvania
Died: March 25, 1965

 26 Alveda King

Alveda King
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 22, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia, U.S.

 27 Ella Baker

Ella Baker
2
Famous As: American activist
Birthdate: December 13, 1903
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: December 13, 1986

 28 Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone.
2
Famous As: Women's Rights Activist
Birthdate: August 13, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Brookfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: October 19, 1893

 29 Amelia Boynton Robinson

Amelia Boynton Robinson
2
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: August 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 26, 2015

 30 Myrlie Evers-Williams

Myrlie Evers-Williams
2
Famous As: journalist
Birthdate: March 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vicksburg

 31 Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper.
2
Famous As: Author, Educator
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

 32 Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell.
2
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: September 23, 1863
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Memphis
Died: July 24, 1954

 33 C. Delores Tucker

C. Delores Tucker
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 12, 2005

 34 Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage.
2
Famous As: Abolitionist, Freethinker, Author
Birthdate: March 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cicero
Died: March 18, 1898

 35 Charlotta Spears Bass

Charlotta Spears Bass
2
Famous As: Editor and activist
Birthdate: February 14, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sumter, South Carolina
Died: April 12, 1969

 36 Frances Lear

Frances Lear
2
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 14, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hudson, New York, United States
Died: September 30, 1996

 37 Septima Poinsette Clark

Septima Poinsette Clark
2
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: May 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina
Died: December 15, 1987

 38 Jo Ann Robinson

Jo Ann Robinson
2
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: April 17, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Culloden, Georgia, United States
Died: August 29, 1992

 39 Prudence Crandall

Prudence Crandall.
2
Famous As: Connecticut's official State Heroine
Birthdate: September 3, 1803
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rhode Island
Died: January 28, 1890

 40 Sarah Louise Delany

Sarah Louise Delany
2
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: September 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lynch Station, Virginia, United States
Died: January 25, 1999

 41 Lyda D. Newman

Lyda D. Newman
1
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: 1885 AD
Birthplace: Ohio, United States

 42 Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith
1
Famous As: Leader
Birthdate: January 23, 1837
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Long Green, Maryland, United States
Died: February 24, 1915

 43 Annie Elizabeth Delany

Annie Elizabeth Delany
1
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 3, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Died: September 25, 1995

 44 Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson

Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson
1
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: April 25, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: October 7, 1967

 45 Johnnie Carr

Johnnie Carr
1
Famous As: Civil rights activists
Birthdate: January 26, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: February 22, 2008

 46 Willie Barrow

Willie Barrow
3
Famous As: Clergywoman
Birthdate: December 7, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Burton, Texas, United States
Died: March 12, 2015

 47 Marvel Cooke

Marvel Cooke
1
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 4, 1903
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mankato, Minnesota, United States
Died: November 29, 2000

 48 Jessie Daniel Ames

Jessie Daniel Ames
1
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Palestine, Texas, United States
Died: February 21, 1972

 49 Enolia McMillan

Enolia McMillan
1
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: October 20, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 24, 2006

 50 Maria Weston Chapman

Maria Weston Chapman
1
Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: July 25, 1806
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 12, 1885