3 African American
List of Female Whistleblowers
Senior Customs Inspector,
Cathy Harris, a former Senior Inspector for the U.S. Customs Service (USCS) at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, disclosed to the media the USCS practice of discriminatory racial profiling. She formed Customs Employees Against Discrimination Assn. (CEADA) and verified her suspicions that women of African descent were wrongfully targeted for detentions and strip-searches as possible drug couriers. Harris' revelations resulted in a damning U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of USCS profiling practices and the introduction of federal legislation "Civil Rights for International Traveler's Act" and "Reasonable Search Standards Act" to reform these unconstitutional practices. According to her book, Flying While Black: A Whistleblower's Story
she personally observed numerous incidents of black travelers being stopped, frisked, body-cavity-searched, detained for hours at local hospitals, forced to take laxatives, bowel-monitored and subjected to public and private racist/colorist humiliation.
Read more in her book "The Cathy Harris Story: A Whistleblower's Victorious Journey to Justice" and "The Failure of Homeland Security: The Government's Dirty Little Secrets from an Insider" at www.TheCathyHarrisStory.com.
Dr. Marsha Coleman Adebayo,
Senior Policy Analyst,
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is a former Senior Policy Analyst for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.gov). Beginning in 1996, she filed complaints alleging that a company from the U.S. was mining vanadium in South Africa and harming the environment and human health. The EPA did not respond, and Coleman-Adebayo reported her concerns to other organizations. When the EPA subsequently did not promote Coleman-Adebayo at her request, she filed suit again the agency, alleging racial and gender discrimination. On August 18, 2000, a federal jury found EPA guilty of violating the civil rights of Coleman-Adebayo on the basis of race, sex, color and a hostile work environment, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Her experience inspired passage of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No Fear Act) that is located at the bottom of every federal government website. Marsha is the author of "No Fear: A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA." Read more at www.Marsha-Coleman-Adebayo.com.
Chief Oversight Officer,
Bunnatine "Bunny" Greenhouse, the former chief oversight official of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, had overseen government contracts for 20 years and had drawn high praise in her rise to become the senior civilian oversight official. With the help of the National Whistleblowers Center, Greenhouse filed a lawsuit challenging her demotion and reached a $970,000 settlement six years after she was demoted for publicly criticizing a multi-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to Halliburton, the company formerly headed by then, Vice President Dick Cheney. Greenhouse had accused the Pentagon of unfairly awarding the contract to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. Testifying before Congress in June 2005, she called the contract the worst case of government abuse she had ever witnessed in her 20-year career. Just two months after that testimony, Greenhouse was demoted at the Pentagon, for "poor performance."
10 Facts You Did Not Know About Whistleblowers
1. Many whistleblowers are women - especially black women.
2. Whistleblowers are true public servants.
3. Most whistleblowers are not in it for the money.
4. Many whistleblowers are also EEOC complainants.
5. Many whistleblowers face major retaliations including death threats and even jail.
6. Many whistleblowers are blackballed, which makes it hard to find another job in their cities.
7. Many whistleblowers think that if they can tell their stories to the right parties -- they will be vindicated but this is not usually the case.
8. Despite major retaliations, most whistleblowers would blow the whistle again.
9. The media is the best outlet for a whistleblower.
10. Despite laws on the books to protect whistleblowers -- only 1% is ever successful.
Actress Kerry Washington
All Black Female Crew in Atlanta
Daughters of Malcolm X
Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, academic, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
Frances Cress Welsing was an American Afrocentrist psychiatrist. Her 1970 essay, The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy), offered her interpretation on the origins of what she described as white supremacy culture.
She was the author of The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors (1991). Welsing caused controversy after she said that homosexuality among African-Americans was a ploy by white males to
decrease the black population.
was an American poet, memoirist, and
civil rights activist
. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.
Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first,
Toni Morrison is an American novelist, editor, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), and Beloved (1987).
Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved.
is a South African activist and politician who has held several government positions and headed the African National Congress Women's League. She is a member of the ANC's National Executive Committee. S
he was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, including 27 years during which he was imprisoned.
Radio Host Bev Smith, First African American Consumer Affairs
Investigative Reporter for WPXI Television in Pittsburgh.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama
is an American lawyer and writer who was First Lad of the United States
from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the
President of the United States, Barack Obama
, and was the first African American
First Lady. Raised on the South Side
of Chicago, Illinois, Obama is a graduate of Princeton University
and Harvard Law School
, and spent her early legal career working at the law firm in Sidley Austin
, where she met her husband. She subsequently worked as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago
and the Vice President for Community and External Affairs of the University of Chicago Medical Center
. Barack and Michelle married in 1992 and have two daughters.
Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011 in Chicago, IL. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she has been ranked the richest African-American, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is currently North America's first and only multi-billionaire black person.
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author.
In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress,
and she represented New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
Carol Moseley-Braun, First African American Woman Elected to the U.S. Senate, the first African American U.S. Senator for the Democratic Party, the First Woman to Defeat an Incumbent U.S. Senator in an Election, and the First and Only Female Senator from Illinois.
Kamala Devi Harris served as the 32nd Attorney General of California.
On Nov. 8, 2016, she became the Democratic senator of California, becoming the second woman of color, first Indian American, and first biracial woman elected to serve in the United States Senate.
Maxine Moore Waters is the U.S. Representative for California's 43rd Congressional District, and previously the 35th and 29th districts, serving since 1991. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the most senior of the 12 black women currently serving in the U.S. Congress, and is a member and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Dr. Mae. Jemison, First Black Woman in Space
Women of Nasa.gov
Beverly Johnson, First Black Model to Appear on Vogue Cover
Tia Norfleet, First and Only African-American Female
Licensed by NASCAR
Lynette Woodard Made History by Becoming the First Female Member of the Harlem Globetrotters and Who Tasted Success Abroad Before Finally Reaching, at Age 38, Her Dream of Playing in the (Newly Formed) American Women's Professional Basketball League.
Alice Coachman, First African American Women to Win an
Olympic Gold Medal
Wilma Rudolph, was an American Athlete and an Olympic Champion who was Considered the Fastest Woman in the World in the 1960s and Competed in Two Olympic Games in 1956 and in 1960.
Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner
, was an American Track and Field
athlete. She is considered the "fastest woman of all time.
Althea Gibson was an American Tennis Player and Professional Golfer,
and the First Athlete of Either Gender to Cross the Color Line of Intl. Tennis.
Gabby Douglas, First African American Gymnast in Olympic History
to Become the Individual All Around-Champion
Jackie Joyner Kersee, Ranked Among the All-Time Greatest Athletes in
Women's Heptathlon as Well as in the Women's Long Jump.
Natalie Cole was an
singer-songwriter, and actress.
In the 1990s, she
re-recorded standards by her father, Nat King Cole, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable With Love,
which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide.
Whitney Houston has been Honored with Several Awards and Accolades Recognizing her Worldwide Success Through the Music and Movie Industries. With Total Career Awards in Excess of 600. She is the Most Awarded Female Artist of All Time.
Bobbie Kristina, Cissy and Whitney Houston
Cissy Houston is an American soul and gospel singer. After a successful career singing backup for such artists as Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, she embarked on a solo career, winning two Grammy Awards for her work. She is the mother of the late Whitney Houston, Grandmother of Bobby Kristina Houston, and Aunt of Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick.
Aretha Franklin Recorded a Total of 88 Charted Singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 Entries and Twenty Number-One R&B Singles,
Becoming the Most Charted Female Artist in the Chart's History.
Patti Labelle, is a Renowned Grammy-Winning American Singer, Author and Actress who has Spent Over 50 years in the Music Industry.
Due to Her Musical Legacy and Influence, She has been Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Apollo Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
Diana Ernestine Earle Ross
(born March 26, 1944)
is an American singer, actress, record producer and an occasional songwriter. Born and raised in
, she rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the vocal group
, which, during the 1960s, became
most successful act and is to this day America's most successful vocal group. As part of the Supremes, Ross most notably rivalled the career of
in worldwide popularity, and their success made it possible for future African American
and soul acts to find mainstream success.
Lauryn Hill won five Grammys for her debut solo album,
'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999'
Viola Davis Just Became The First Black Woman To Win An Oscar, Emmy And Tony For Acting.
Viola Davis is an American actress and producer. She is the only black woman to be nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one, and is the only black actress or actor to win the Triple Crown of Action. In 2012, she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Cicely Tyson is an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder (1972). For this role she also won the NSFC Best Actress and NBR Best Actress Awards. She starred in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), for which she won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for a BAFTA Award.
During her career she has been nominated for twelve Primetime Emmy Awards, winning three.