Hey Sassy Peeps, H
In celebration of Black History Month, we are paying tribute to 5 incredible African-American women in auto (past and present). These women have positively impacted the male-dominated Automotive Industry in more ways than one.
Although not enough, there are actually more black women in auto than you may think. Keep reading to check out these s
African-American Women in Auto
1. Brehanna Daniels
Brehanna Daniels, the first African-American female pit crew member to work a race in the Monster Energy series, the sport’s top series. During her senior year at Norfolk State, a NASCAR recruiter approached her about joining their drive for diversity program to attract women to the sport. She said yes and you know the rest.
It goes to show that you can do anything you put your mind to because before then she had never even changed a tire. You go my courageous sister! You are a true inspiration!
Remember all those times you counted me out? Should’ve known I’d be someone…🤟🏾 – Brehanna Daniels
2. Tia Norfleet
Shauntia Latrice “Tia” Norfleet, daughter of NASCAR driver Bobby Norfleet, holds the title as the first African-American female to be licensed by both NASCAR and ARCA, the Automobile Racing Club of America.
Tia began competing on a local and regional level in go-kart racing. She eventually moved on to late model stock car racing and later became the first African-American to obtain a NASCAR late model series racing license. Way to go Tia! You so rock!
“What I stand for is something way bigger than me.” -Tia Norfleet
3. Madam CJ Walker
OK Madam CJ and her posse rolling up like WHAT???
Although Madam CJ Walker (1867-1919) is recognized for being America’s first African-American female millionaire she was also a true auto enthusiast! To be honest, I am just learning of her love for cars and because of this, I felt she deserved to be honored here as well.
In 1913 while her hair care empire was booming, she broke another barrier and purchased three automobiles: a Ford Model T, a Waverly Electric and a luxury, seven-passenger Cole Touring Car. You might be thinking that that’s no big deal for a millionaire, but the key is that during this time fewer than 10 percent of licensed drivers were women. #Wow! Madam CJ definitely showed them how it was done! Go Madam CJ!!!
4. Gladys West did what????
During the 1950s and ’60s, 87-year-old mathematician, Gladys West had no idea that her work at a U.S. Navy base in Virginia would play a major role in creating a popular form of technology, called the Geographical Positioning System, or GPS. This popular form of technology has definitely been a game changer in the way the world travels and interacts on a daily basis. It is now incorporated into cars, cell phones, and social media. Thanks, Gladys for being so spectacular!
5. Patrice Banks
I love Patrice Banks! I have followed her via social media for more than a few for years now. I remember when I stumbled across her profile on Facebook. I knew I had to follow her after reading that she said she was a self-proclaimed former auto air-head and now the founder of Girls Auto Clinic.
So can you imagine the excitement and surprise I felt when I saw her walking through the crowd a few years back at a Ford Media event? Although I hate to admit it I totally fangirled her! LOL! I kept it together and approached her, introduced myself and told her that I love her work. I have to say I wasn’t surprised at all by her kind and fiery spirit. She is so cool! Yay you Patrice for staying humble and sassy! You so rock!
“When I learned how to work on cars I realized ‘wow this stuff isn’t hard!!’ Women don’t know that because there’s nobody speaking like them. The industry is run by men.” – Patrice Banks.
What African-American Women In Auto would you like to see honored? Inquiring minds would love to know.
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