Driving Change: Black Women and the Automotive Revolution

Driving Change: Black Women and the Automotive Revolution

In the 1970s, a cultural shift swept across the United States, and African American women emerged as key influencers in shaping this transformation, particularly within the realm of automobiles. Beyond serving as mere modes of transportation, cars became potent symbols of empowerment, freedom, and style during this dynamic decade.

Empowerment Through Mobility

As the 1970s unfolded, African American women found themselves at the forefront of a societal change that extended into their relationship with automobiles. Historic statistics reveal a notable increase in car ownership among black women during this period. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of African American households owning at least one car rose significantly throughout the decade, reflecting a tangible shift in mobility and access to personal transportation.

Freedom on Four Wheels

For African American women, owning a car in the 1970s represented more than just a convenient mode of getting from point A to point B—it symbolized newfound freedom. Historically, access to reliable transportation had been limited for many black individuals, but the growing trend of car ownership among Black women signaled a break from this constraint. The ability to travel independently empowered these women, enabling them to navigate their communities and beyond with newfound autonomy.

Style and Identity Behind the Wheel

Cars also became a canvas for self-expression and style during the 1970s. African American women embraced their vehicles as extensions of their identity, customizing and personalizing their cars to reflect their unique tastes. The automotive landscape witnessed a surge in diverse styles, from vibrant paint jobs to custom interiors, showcasing a rich tapestry of individuality among Black women car owners.


The 1970s marked a significant era where African American women played a pivotal role in reshaping the cultural landscape, particularly in their relationship with automobiles. Historic statistics underscore the increasing ownership of cars among Black women during this period, highlighting a transformative shift in mobility, empowerment, and style. As we reflect on this chapter in history, it becomes evident that the wheels of change were not only turning on the roads but also within the hearts and minds of African American women, propelling them towards a future where empowerment and individuality found a powerful ally in the automotive world.



Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.