Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World

Inspiration shares the personal stories and unique voices of 30 extraordinary black women. Whether in the White House or on the courts of Wimbledon, in Hollywood or on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, these women have influenced the social, cultural, and political landscape of this country, and even the world. Luminaries such as Patti LaBelle, Venus Williams, Susan Taylor, and Judith Jamison speak about the challenges they’ve faced and the victo­ries they’ve won throughout their careers. These inspiring black women pass their knowledge and lessons on to a new generation of women in intimate first-person essays and stunning color portraits.

Praise for Inspiration:

“Gorgeous.” O, The Oprah Magazine

“Crystal McCrary’s Inspiration features profiles of 30 dynamic Black women.” Essence

A great read for any and all aspiring female trailblazers.” —The

“This month marks the arrival of Crystal McCrary’s new book Inspiration, a collection of first-person essays by black women who are changing the world, one remarkable story at a time.” —

“This month, McCrary’s non-fiction coffee table book celebrates remarkable and accomplished African American women like Michelle Obama and Gayle King, plus many more. . . . A star-studded party at the International Center of Photography will launch it.” —Avenue magazine

Inspiration examines achievements by women—many you know and others you should—in a broad range of industries.” —Black Enterprise

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  1. Beautiful photos, interesting bios This book is full of beautiful photos. Some women chose to tell stories about their backgrounds while others give advice. Some are really interesting and some I passed right by. As much as I like Raven Symone, I would’ve been more interested in hearing about her background and why she made her career choices and less about what she tells her fans. I didn’t really understand why Leila Ali was in the book at all until I got to the small part about her organization helping to fight obesity and indirectly avoid teenage pregnancy. I hadn’t thought of that. Her excerpt was about how pretty she was, how she wanted to box and how she would never lose and would always knock people out. I kept checking the cover and re-reading the “inspiration” part wondering how was fighting supposed to be inspirational.But there were also women who I totally appreciate and am long-time fans of like Whoopi Goldberg and First Lady Michelle Obama (her entry was an overview instead of her words, which was kinda disappointing). I may wear makeup less than 10 times a year, but I bought Iman’s makeup my senior year of high school and pretty much all of college (she has the BEST shades for brown-skinned women). I was really interested in her take on the fashion industry. Although my take is different, I can respect her opinion about not being a black woman. I hadn’t thought of it like that before. She’s the only model I’d really want to read more about because her backstory is so fascinating; it wasn’t just random photographs and the best clothes. Iman’s entry was the best, but Patti LaBelle’s was pretty cool, too. (I don’t know why in the world anybody would EVER call Patti LaBelle ugly, “big nose” or not. Every time I think of her, I remember that beautiful smile and her calling Kadeem Hardison “Chipmunk” on “A Different World.”)Mary J. Blige made me think about the idea of being “happy.” Although I’ve never known much about Gayle King, I totally agreed with her views on current day society and I take her side in the debate she had with a family member. Up until that book, I only knew her as Oprah’s friend so it was interesting to learn more about her. That was the case with a few more of the women in this book.Good book overall. Some entry/bios were more interesting than others. A couple folks seemed more like they were bragging than just talking (did we really need to know about how one lady called a cab to get to school?). I can’t say there was anything I totally didn’t like, but it was like picking your favorite shoes. Some were just better to look at.

    Shamontiel L. Vaughn "I'm boycotting Amazon's...
  2. Inspiration for all ages! Crystal McCrary has written a book that will inspire people of all ages! Women, men, girls and boys will benefit from hearing the stories of these incredible women. Women who have triumphed over the challenges life can bring and are now soaring with success! The world needs to know the stories of women like this. The photographs in the book are rich and vivid and show the beauty of all of these women. This book will look gorgeous on the coffee table, but should not just be on display… It should be read and looked at and shared now and with generations to come!

    Carrie Morse

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