Forbes has just released its “50 Over 50” list to highlight 200 women in their later years who continue to create new ways to excel in their industries. The Black honorees are wide-ranging in their advocacy and career journeys. Their impact is as great as they are, as the women on this definitive list have made tremendous strides to enact change in fields such as finance, entertainment, and technology.

They range from world-renowned artists to astronauts, and many are the first of their kind. Forbes‘ honoring of these diverse game-changers is a testimony to the work older Black women have put in to ensure the next generation has the opportunity to achieve even more.

While Patti LaBelle is known for her voice and her songs, she was highlighted on this list for Patti’s Good Life, her food enterprise. LaBelle’s successful marketing of her mac ‘n’ cheese, sweet potato pies, and other bestselling goods sold nationwide means her legacy not only lives on but expands.

Faye Wattleton is another titan, combining a nonprofit background with advocacy in the technological sphere. In 2017, the then 73-year-old co-founded a quantum computer company, EeroQ, which builds technology hardware to solve problems swiftly. The former, and first, Black woman president of Planned Parenthood started her computing venture in order to keep sustainability and healthcare causes moving and progressing.

Claudine Gay is the first Black person, and woman, to become president of Harvard University, and her appointment is a milestone for diversity in educational leadership. A first-generation American, as her parents immigrated from Haiti, the Harvard alumna began her career as a professor of government before rising to the top.

The Black businesswomen, entertainers, and activists bestowed with this honor are well deserving of the recognition. Their powerful, storied careers speak for themselves. Forbes’ extensive 50 Over 50 list includes detailed profiles.


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