Who’s the fiercest of them all? Here are a few that you recommended over the last five years (clockwise from top): filmmaker Ava Duvernay, N.Y. First Lady Chirlane McCray, photographer Eunique Jones Gibson and ballerina Misty Copeland. Email nominees for 2018 to fierceforblackwomen@gmail.com

The results of 2018’s high-stakes, midterm election are in, and one thing is clear — black women are winners and we are fierce! More than 400 black women ran for office in 2018, according to blackwomeninpolitics.com. The majority – whether taking on races for federal, state, or judicial seats – were Democrats or progressives hell-bent on bringing positive change to our country. And sisters worked hard to put them there. Here at Fierce, we are not the least bit surprised.

Just five years ago, on November 11, 2013, we launched our website FierceforBlackWomen.com because we wanted to tell the world about the brilliance, the power, and the beauty of black women. And we can’t thank you enough for supporting us so fiercely!

As our Fierce Manifesto states in part: “To be Fierce is to embrace all that’s wonderful about being a black woman. To live your dreams, celebrate your strengths and appreciate your true beauty. It means being confident and unapologetically you!”

In those days, we were at the beginning of former (that hurts!) President Barack Obama’s second term and all things seemed possible. The First Lady was our first cover story, titled “Why We Love Michelle.”

To us, Michelle Obama was the ideal representation of a fierce, fabulous black woman and the living embodiment of the hope and excitement we felt about the future — at least in part because she and Barack were in the White House.

Members of The White Dress Project blow kisses to those who’ve got their back in the fight against fibroids. (Photo courtesy of The White Dress Project)

Today, we proudly celebrate our 5th anniversary of publication in what we all know is a very different America. No matter. Today, we are still applauding the inspiring lives of fierce, fabulous, pioneering and steadfast black women who give us hope — like Michelle Obama who is encouraging legions of people to let their voices be heard and is giving hope to women by sharing her challenges with infertility, which required in vitro fertilization for the births of both Malia and Sasha.

As we renew our commitment to take Fierce to the next level, we will celebrate and inspire you over the next year in myriad ways. This includes sharing the gift of knowledge and telling the stories of amazing black women, their accomplishments, and the many ways they make life so much better for all of us through their work in health and science, business, entertainment, sports and fitness, spirituality, education, relationships, travel and other areas.

We’ll begin with a look at activism — where we’ve been and where we’re going — by Mary Curtis, who wrote the Michelle Obama cover story when Fierce was born. We’ll highlight some of the groundbreaking victories around the country — from all those judges in Texas to National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes who became the first black woman from Connecticut to go to Congress.

So, stay tuned for more and, most of all, stay unapologetically Fierce!

Sheree Crute                                                                              Yanick Rice Lamb

Editor-in-Chief                                                                          Publisher