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Sisters of the Year

We’re celebrating 19 Black women who made bold moves in 2019.

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collage of michelle obama, beyonce, rihanna, regina king, lizzo, tamron hall, and brittany packnett for sisters of the year article
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Before 2019 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to shout out 19 sisters who crushed 2019 and will certainly make bold moves in the new year. And since this short list couldn’t possibly recognize all the Black women doing amazing things, we’ll continue to celebrate standout sisters in 2020!

1. Beyoncé’s Homecoming, her Coachella documentary, showed us the tenacity behind her massive talent and showcased African American culture.

2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 2
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella

2. Ava DuVernay continues to beautifully relate the stories of Black people through her work. Her Netflix series When They See Us, detailing the experiences of the Central Park Five, racked up 25 million views worldwide.

The 71st Emmy Awards- Arrivals
David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

3. Simone Biles cemented her dominance on the gymnastic floor. She’s now the most decorated gymnast in the world and has not one, but two gymnastic moves named after her.

Artistic Gymnastics: world championships
Kyodo News/Kyodo News via Getty Images

4. Niecy Nash killed it playing Korey Wise’s mother in the Netflix series When They See Us.

Variety's 2019 Power Of Women: Los Angeles Presented By Lifetime - Arrivals
Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

5. Lori Lightfoot was sworn in as mayor of the nation’s third largest city, Chicago. She is the first Black, female and openly gay public servant elected to the position.


6. Nikole Hannah-Jones is the architect of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which deeply examines the legacy of slavery in the United States. Jones marked the 400th anniversary of slavery in a unique way and brought this deeply important topic back into national conversation.

Mike Coppola

7. Gayle King was already an exceptional journalist, make no mistake, but her infamous interview with singer R. Kelly was a master class in keeping one’s composure.

The Gordon Parks Foundation 2019 Annual Awards Dinner And Auction
Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

8. Michelle Obama and her husband Barack signed a multiyear deal with Spotify to produce exclusive podcasts.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

9. Kamala Harris launched a bold campaign for president.

Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

10. Rihanna took her groundbreaking, artistic and inclusive Savage X Fenty lingerie fashion show to Amazon Prime Video. Observers credit the game-changing production with influencing Victoria’s Secret’s decision to cancel their show this year.

Han Myung-Gu/GC Images,

11. Brittany Packnett delivered the TED Talk we all needed on building confidence. The activist and educator has an incredible resume that includes working with Barack Obama.

Tasia Wells/WireImage

12. Karen Attiah, global opinions editor for theWashington Post, became a fearless advocate in the wake of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Attiah was named the 2019 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

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Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

13. Viola Davisis often praised for bringing authentic and multidimensional characters to the screen (remember when the wig came off in How to Get Away with Murder). Davis won the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rome Film Fest.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Hollywood R

14. Oprah Winfrey is a titan in the media industry, and her net worth of $2.5 billion proves it. Winfrey is one of the only five Black billionaires — and the only female Black billionaire — in the country. She recently announced that she’s giving $13 million to increase a scholarship endowment at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Vera Anderson/WireImage

15. Serena Williams is the world’s best tennis player, full stop. But the greatest of all time showed the true meaning of grit as she battled through illness and injuries this year.

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Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Apartment List

16. Tamron Hall proved no one can get in the way of your dreams. The former NBC Today host began her own syndicated talk show this year and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Moses.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

17. Lizzo rose to prominence this year with hit songs like Truth Hurts and Good as Hell. She was the year’s most nominated artist with eight Grammy nods. The singer, rapper and songwriter also pushed the boundaries in the body positivity arena, being unapologetically herself and landing the December cover of British Vogue.

Joseph Okpako/Redferns

18. Regina King’s epic acting career spans back to the mid-80s. That’s why this queen’s 2019 Oscar win for best supporting actress for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk is incredibly well deserved.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

19. Missy Elliott made history as the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Noam Galai/Getty Images