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Black Women Reflect On The Biggest Role Models In Their Lives

You never know who will inspire you, but you know they'll be one of a kind.

1. This bold grandma who demanded her education

Courtesy of Jocelyn Artinger

"My grandmother, Isabell, is someone who I have always looked up to as an example and role model because of her fierce determination. She persuaded her father to send her to college, becoming the first to attend and graduate in her family."


2. This internationally renowned writer and stellar feminist

Courtesy of Marjorie Lacombe-Jelinek

"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would be my role model because she’s essentially everything that I want to be when I grow up. An internationally respected, intelligent woman who is also a creative and gets paid big bucks to turn up at events and spit the truth at everyone. I’m also trying to write a novel, partly biographical and partly about Nigeria, so I find her writing a good place to find inspiration and form."


3. This mom who's actually the best friend you could have

Courtesy of Jordan Ashwood

"My most influential role model will always be my number-one best friend: my mom. She encourages me every day to be the best version of myself — a person who is honest with herself and those around her, who approaches any challenge with courage and integrity, and who always tries to find the humor in life. She has shown me that sincere and genuine relationships and communities are the bread and butter of life and that diversity in perspective, experience, and culture will always deepen and enrich those spaces."


4. This vocal superstar and inspiring global artist

Courtesy of Marjorie Lacombe-Jelinek

"Alicia Keys was my role model growing up. I loved everything about her: her music, her style, her hair...she exhibited so much elegance and confidence. As I got older, I learned more about all of her humanitarian work, and I became even more inspired."


5. This Haitian mom who learned any language to succeed

Courtesy of Marjorie Lacombe-Jelinek

"My biggest role model is definitely my mother because of her incredible way of being resourceful. She left Haiti as a teen and had to learn English in America for college, then Spanish in Mexico for medical school, and now she's learning how to use emojis to text me."


6. These little brothers who remind you how to shine

Courtesy of Rachel Bervell

"Family has always stood as an inspiration for me. My parents immigrated from Ghana and taught me and my brothers to work hard, serve our communities, and love those around us. Naturally, I look up to my little brothers because they've been able to do all of those things as well but in their own special ways."


7. This widowed mom who never gave up

Courtesy of Kashara Johnson / Via @kashara_johnson

"My mom is an incredible role model to me. She became a single parent after my father's death when I was four. She managed to get her bachelor's degree while working a full-time job in order to provide for me."


8. This ballin' mom in business who set the rules

Courtesy of Pariss Briggs

"My biggest role model is my mom. She quit her job 10 years ago to start her own business. She said she wanted to be her own boss; she has been ever since."


9. This fabulous group of friends who became sisters

Courtesy of Rachel Bervell

"When I went to college across the country, I was inspired by the incredibly strong, talented, and beautiful women I lived with for all four years. These role models became my sisters I never had...they became an extension of my family."


10. And, of course, this role model who is #lifegoals

Jessica Kourkounis / Via Getty Images

"Michelle Obama is everything I could ever want to be. She's brilliant, independent, stylish, and the reason her husband is president. She is proof that I should never let the world box me into anything less than my absolute greatest."


Ford celebrates role models who are bold, motivated, and unique. Find what inspires you most and drive towards it!