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  • Michelle Smith

Amazing Melanated Mommies: 21

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

While African American history is too extraordinary to be summed up in a year, let alone a month, we will be celebrating phenomenal women who changed the world as we see it now all while raising children. If they can do it, so can we. Lets do it!!!

Byllye Avery has been a health care activist dedicated to bettering the welfare of African-American women for over 40 years. Avery attended college at Talladega College and earned her BA in psychology in 1959. She met her husband, Wesley Avery, while at Talladega College and they married in 1960 and had three children. After her husband’s sudden death at age 33, Byllye made a commitment to improve the health of African American communities with a focus on women’s health issues. Avery has worked to develop healthcare services and education that address Black women's mental and physical health stressors. In 1983, she founded the National Black Women's Health Project (now known as the Black Women's Health Imperative), the first national organization to specialize in black women's reproductive health issues. She has won multiple awards for her health care contributions such as the MacArthur Foundation's Fellowship for Social Contribution in 1989 and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award for a Pioneer in Women’s Rights in 2008.

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