WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the start of Black History Month, an annual reminder of the contributions that African Americans, like Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walke, and Condoleeza Rice, have made to our society.

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at Independent Women’s Forum, released the following statement: 

“Black Americans have made invaluable contributions throughout our nation’s history. Black women in particular have underpinned important social movements like women’s suffrage and revolutionized industries. Closed circuit television home security, a central heating furnace, the ironing board, and the sanitary belt—a precursor for today’s sanitary pads. These are a few of the inventions dreamed up by black women who were on a mission to make lives easier and safer for themselves and their families.

“Ingenuity and the entrepreneurial sprint are alive among black women, who are among the fastest growing demographic of our nation’s small business owners. They prove that being black and female in America is not a burden or impediment, but a facet of the rich diversity in our nation.

“We celebrate the giants in our history that have moved us forward as a nation. And we look to the women and men who are knocking down obstacles for black kids to succeed and carving new pathways for others to follow. We must elevate those expanding access to a quality education for all children and preserving free enterprise. These are keys to mobility, equality and opportunity for all.”



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.