EBW Role Models

  1. Tatyana Ali
  2. Freema Agyeman
  3. Corinne Bailey Rae
  4. Josephine Baker
  5. Tyra Banks
  6. Angela Bassett
  7. Garcelle Beauvais
  8. Naomi Campbell
  9. Diahann Carroll
  10. Pat Cleveland
  11. Angel Coulby (from Merlin)
  12. Dorothy Dandridge
  13. Viola Davis
  14. Selita Ebanks
  15. Megalyn Echikunwoke
  16. Robin Givens
  17. Naomie Harris
  18. Lena Horne
  19. Whitney Houston 
  20. Jennifer Hudson
  21. Iman
  22. Janet Jackson
  23. Beverly Johnson
  24. Keesha Knight Pulliam
  25. Saana Lathan
  26. Nia Long
  27. Gugu Mbatha-Raw
  28. Audra McDonald
  29. Inna Modja
  30. Tia and Tamera Mowry
  31. Thandie Newton
  32. Angelique Noire
  33. Michelle Obama
  34. Paula Patton
  35. Phylica Rashad
  36. Salli Richardson-Whitfield
  37. Diana Ross
  38. Tracee Ellis-Ross
  39. Kelly Rowland
  40. Sade
  41. Zoe Saldana
  42. Naomi Sims
  43. Jurnee Smollett
  44. Jordan Sparks
  45. Tika Sumpter
  46. Gina Torres
  47. Gabrielle Union
  48. Kerry Washington
  49. Rutina Wesley
  50. Lynn Whitfield
  51. Vanessa Williams
New additions to the list updated November 6, 2016
52. Nicole Berharie

53. Aja Naomi King
54. Regina King
55. Keke Palmer
56. Candice Patton
57. Alfre Woodard

***Keep in mind that this is my personal list and you can make you own list with EBWs that you admire.***

This video showcases all 51 EBW role models :)


  1. Where's Tina Turner?

  2. I think Aaliyah and Alicia Keys are also EBWs :)

    1. They are too hood for my liking. Feel free to make up your own list and post it on your blog. These are the elegant Black women who inspire me but everyone is free to choose who they want.

  3. Jasmine Guy, especially as Whitley Gilbert, Also Susan Fales-Hill.

  4. Wow..no classy Angela Basset. I couldn't allow Naomi Campbell on this list because of her lack of civility with people. I'd rather her mom on this list than Naomi herself...jus' sayin'.

    1. Angela Basset is on the list. Please feel free to make up your own list :)

  5. I am curious to how you feel about Janelle Monae?

    1. I don't know much about her but her style is too masculine for me.

  6. Umm i feel like this just listed black celebrities. Give or take a few. We can def do better than this.

    1. Ok Anonymous, I challenge you to make your own list of elegant Black women and post it on your blog for everyone to see and criticize. If you can do better then as an empowered person, please do :)

    2. I see you seem to be extremely upset at our comments in regards to who is on the list. Had I know this was the group of women that inspired you or you view as elegent it is wonderful. I was just thinking more as a whole for black women. I was just a little disappointed to see someone like Naomi Campbell being she assaults people with cellular devices. I admire all of your work and videos. I maybe should have elaborated a bit more. I wish you luck I will not comment anymore on this bored. I have a hard time with this language as is. Good luck. :)

    3. I'm not upset about it at all, trust me :) I just challenge anyone who has a problem with this list to make their own list that inspires them because that will be more personal. It will also allow people to appreciate the work that goes into making lists like this and blogging instead of complaining about it (it's like someone spending time to help you and then criticizing them about the way they helped. It will make the person think twice about helping you at all). Make your own media and influence people if you want them to change. I really wish Black women would do that and take charge of their media and their image because if you want a job done right you probably have to do it yourself.

      These women are role models based on the way they look and carry themselves, and the way they appear in certain roles. I don't know any of them personally and they may all be horrible in real life. The point is, I can use them as examples because they are famous and there are images of them all over the web. Anyone who wants to make a list of non-celebrity women who are elegant and feminine are free to do so and use that as inspiration. No I do not admire Naomi Campbell's anger problem, she has issues just like every one, but compared to many other women I have seen she is way more elegant and feminine than many others.

      What I really want people to take from this blog is to stop being so passive! If you want something you have to make it happen and try to solve the problem yourself. If people don't think you are classy then learn how to be classy and start being classy. If people don't think you are smart, learn things, and start acting smart. If you want a list of role models, don't rely on someone else to make it for you, take what you want, disregard the rest and make up your own list. If Black women keep waiting for everything to be handed to them perfectly on a silver platter then they will be waiting forever.

  7. @ Anonymous, I have to say...do you REALLY think Naomi Campbell would have a career if she was hard to work with and dangerous??? Really people you just read something in some tabloids and run with it? Naomi has been the target of the media for years, she has been portrayed as this "savage black woman" for the world to see, yet and still during all those years the modeling industry couldnt get enough of her. She would NOT be an ICON today if she was that unprofessional savage. Naomi has faced far more racists than the Chanel Imans and co that she opened doors for. Maybe she does have a hard time keeping cool when people provoke her, but if she was the half crazy monster that can assault people at anytime that the media claims she is, she wouldnt have a career. Regardless of what "People Magazine" and other "sources" say, fact of the matter is she's always been a class act. The biggest names of the industry praise her. She is in an industry where dealing with people is fundamental to build a career. Its all about professionalism, reputation and connection. She's a legend, which speaks volumes.

    So yes more than deserves to be on the list.

    1. Elle I agree with you. I have seen both old and recent TV footage of Naomi Campbell pushing down a camera that a cameraman had in her face, the second more recent affair was when a British TV crew were aggressively trying to get Naomi to say why she accepted those 'blood diamonds' a few years ago as a gift. But even then she didn't start hitting, punching, throwing things or start screaming and shouting like a Jerry Springer guest! That's the thing I've noticed about Naomi Campbell, everywhere she goes where she's caught on camera, or being interviewed either briefly or during long interviews as the one she had on Oprah years ago or even when she does walk-ins or cameo appearances for TV shows and films as she did for an episode of Absolutely Fabulous, a 90s popular British comedy once, she always appears to be quiet, with a soft-spoken 'alto' sort of voice, always sitting so cross-legged in the most ladylike way and with her posture upright and so straight. It makes me respect her as a lady more when she carries herself in these ladylike and more womanly ways and it casts some doubt on some of Naomi's disparaging critics in my eyes anyway because she doesn't carry herself as a crazy 'cell phone thrower'!

      True, I don't know her and certainly I don't know how she acts in private but still wouldn't more of her own normal day-to-day manner out in public belie such tacky Jerry Springer rudeness if that was really what Naomi is all about in reality? So I don't know about believing every word Naomi's 'haters' have to say...

      And as you said Elle, Naomi's been working in fashion all these years and if she was some sort of violent, crazy shrieking harridan who acts like she was dragged up by wolves all the time then why keep her, a black model especially, in work all the time for so many years especially since she seems to work modeling for mostly white designers and with white photographers for white fashion magazines? There always are other black models out there you know...

      Naomi became very good friends with famous designers like Giannini Versace, Azzedine Alaia and Yves Saint Laurent and from the early days of her career she became friends with and stayed friends with Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss and Christy and Linda have even helped out Naomi and taken up for her against photographers or magazines, etc. who didn't want to hire Naomi or any other black model during their shoots. So with those kind of allies and friends wouldn't you think they'd have been turned off by now? It could be that Naomi is smart enough 'not to use the Ladies room where she eats' so to speak LOL but people's true colors can easily come out for a while so if Naomi hadn't destroyed her career yet then maybe her little critics don't know her ways as much as they insist that they do. Just recently Vogue Australia put Naomi on the cover and gave her a spread of photos featured inside of course and she's not even a spring chicken anymore and certainly not in the eyes of the fashion world!

      The one who is disappointing in my eyes in terms of the way she acts and carries herself is Tyra Banks as ever since she came out with America's Next Top Model which later lead to her own talk show she has displayed this silly and seemingly fake 'I'm just a girl ya know from 'round the way y'know wha' Um Sayin'?' act just to seem down and forgetting herself and forgetting any sense of poise and ladylike behavior and I don't know why Tyra has to act that way but since she seems very loud and far more public regarding herself and her persona then I guess her sense of poise probably doesn't matter or factor into things for her. *shrugs shoulders*

  8. This is a great list of some out great women of color role models. Love the goal of this blog - self-improvement. I could easily include my elegant mother who just turned 70 this year. She is an amazing woman. She has taught my sister and I how to be elegant , feminine, godly women. She has been and continues to be a role model and friend. We hope to instill all of these qualities in our girls. I hope mothers will get back to raising young women with character, self-worth, grace and faith. This is what this generation needs to get back to. I'm also glad to see great organizations like Beverly Bond's Black Girls Rock as well as the award show where they honor great women of color who make a difference, not only in the African American community and the world.
    From your list I choose these women as great role models:
    1. Michelle Obama
    2. Angela Bassett
    3. Dorothy Dandrige
    4. Viola Davis
    5. Lena Horne
    6. Audra McDonald
    7. Phylicia Rashaad
    8. Tia and Tamera Mowry
    9. Beverly Johnson
    10. Diana Ross
    11. Diahann Caroll
    12. Naomi Campbell
    13. Jennifer Hudson
    Like I said in the beginning of my comments, there are so many women that can be called role models. We have role models in our homes, in our families, in our nation and around the world. I hope that I can be considered a role model too. If you're looking for a new women empowerment song by a woman of color check out Phenomenal Woman by Andrea Pace on Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Phenomenal-Woman/dp/B008PBMG9E

  9. I can't seem to find an email adress. I have an oppourtunity for a featured post on my blog - email me at SFarma4@gmail.com to discuss things further.

  10. please continue with this site and your vision! I love it!

  11. Ladies, I'm soo disappointed. You all are super negative. Why? Don't you see this woman's effort? This is exactly what she's trying 2 point out. Why can't we uplift one another? Why? You look just like me most the time. Your hair is like mine. Our upbringing is usually similar. So why all the hate or negativity? Please black women. We must do better. If you don't like her list, create your own. That's all she was saying. She wasn't UPSET, sweetie! Please ladies, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it at all!!! We get enough of that from the people that don't understand our position as It is.

  12. I think this is list is great. Diahann Carroll epitomizes black femininity to me. I love black vintage glamour. All class, with just a touch of sass.

  13. Love Kerry Washington ��