In celebration of Black History Month, we’re honoring trailblazing Black women who use their innate gifts to serve as role models and changemakers. From A-list celebrities to athletes to politicians and more, these inspiring women remind us all what is possible when you lean into your strengths. Here are 12 influential Black women and their Enneagram types.
Michelle Obama: Enneagram Type 1
According to a 2020 Gallup Poll, beloved former first lady Michelle Obama is the most admired woman in the United States. As First Lady, Michelle was known for her inspiring speeches, flawless sense of style and diligent advocacy for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education and international adolescent girls' education. Despite all of this, she stayed relatable too, appearing on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and writing candidly in her memoir about IVF treatment, going to marriage counseling, and even her issues around self-worth. She is both inspiring and accessible, a rare combination.
Michelle Obama is likely an Enneagram One, “The Perfectionist.” Always looking for improvement and pushing herself to be better, Michelle’s motto is “When they go low, we go high.” In her book “Becoming,” she discusses how much she struggles with her inner critic and the relentless self-questioning of “Am I good enough?” Read more about Michelle Obama’s personality type.
Maya Angelou: Enneagram Type 2
Apart from being an iconic Pulitzer-Prize nominated writer and poet, Maya Angelou was a tireless advocate for civil rights. Throughout the 1960s she worked alongside civil rights leaders like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and South African freedom fighter Vusumzi Make. The author and activist devoted her life to bringing about positive change in the world. Even after her passing in 2014, Maya Angelou’s legacy of love and acceptance still resonates with people around the world.
Altruistic and empathetic, Maya Angelou was most likely an Enneagram Two. Twos are motivated by a desire to feel loved and appreciated — which manifests in their expression of love and appreciation for others. Read more about Maya Angelou’s personality type.
Beyoncé Knowles: Enneagram Type 3
Pop phenomenon. Unapologetic activist. Cultural demigod. Is there anything Beyoncé Knowles can't do? The soul-pop sensation has been in the spotlight ever since getting her start in the girl group Destiny’s Child when she was a teenager. Since then, her entertainment career has skyrocketed her to becoming one of the most famous celebrities of a generation.
Charismatic, fashionable and always on-the-go, it’s no surprise that Beyoncé is the quintessential Enneagram Three. Type Threes strive to be successful and are motivated by admiration from others. Read more about Beyoncé’s personality type.
Oprah Winfrey: Enneagram Type 3
There are few people known globally by only a single name, and “Oprah” is certainly one of the icons on that list! An ambitious talent with an empathetic heart to match, she’s the sort of leader and voice that many have turned to for an extra dose of wisdom through her long-running talk show, network, books and film work.
Based on an analysis of her observed behavior and motivations, Oprah is an Enneagram Three. Enneagram Threes are classic, Type-A overachievers who simply don’t know how to fail. With passion powering her ambition and mission, Oprah Winfrey has created a sphere of influence enjoyed by a rare few. Read more about Oprah’s personality type.
Rihanna: Enneagram Type 4
Once a singer known for her catchy pop tracks, Rihanna has blossomed over the course of her career into a trendsetting fashion and beauty mogul. She plays by her own rules and isn’t afraid to go against the grain in her style and career choices. “I don’t do things for response or controversy,” she has said. “I just live my life.”
Based on her wildly individualistic personality, Rihanna is an Enneagram Type Four. Enneagram Fours march to the beat of their own drum and don’t cave to pressure; fans have been begging for Rihanna’s next album for years, but she is in no rush. A daring fashion icon, she also starts trends and never follows them (see that Superbowl show!) — from her oversize silhouettes to bright, monochromatic jewel tones. She even pioneered a first-of-its-kind, ultra-inclusive makeup line for all skin colors. Talk about embracing individuality! Read more about Rihanna’s personality type.
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett: Enneagram Type 5
Viral immunologist Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D., was one of the leading scientists to develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in 2020. Using mRNA technology paired with her knowledge and expertise, Kizzmekia and her team put years and training and research to work to quickly develop a vaccine amid a worldwide pandemic. While the true impact of her work is unknown, billions of people have received the vaccine, which ultimately led to a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Dr. Corbett exemplifies many traits of the Enneagram Five, “The Investigator.” Fives seek a deep understanding of the world and are energized by gathering knowledge and sharing their intellect with others. Curious and analytical, Fives are often drawn to STEM fields. As a Black woman in STEM, Dr. Corbett highlights the importance of representation in clinical trials. “Diversity matters and not just for a box-checking exercise, but it really matters for the health outcomes of everyone. If we’re all going to need to take the vaccines, then we should all be working towards them,” she said in an interview with Dr. Priscilla Chan.
Ava DuVernay: Enneagram Type 6
While her name may not be the most well-known on this list, director Ava DuVernay has built an impressive list of accomplishments, including being the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million domestically (“A Wrinkle in Time”) and the first Black woman to direct an Oscar-nominated Best Picture film (“Selma”).
Ava DuVernay is likely an Enneagram Six personality type. As a Six, she is a champion for black representation in film, which she puts at the forefront of her work. Organized, well-liked and an excellent team player, Ava is known for building a tight-knit sense of community on her sets, but she’s not afraid to draw the line when it comes to respecting authority. “I’m part of a small but mighty tribe of women filmmakers,” she said. “Not everyone’s had the experience of being directed by or led by a woman. And that’s just the industry that we’re in. So I thought it was important to have that conversation.”
Tiffany Haddish: Enneagram Type 7
Famously funny actress Tiffany Haddish has a bold and infectiously positive personality. She’s also incredibly resilient, overcoming tough childhood experiences and working on building her comedy career for nearly two decades before her breakout success in popular comedies such as Girls Trip and Night School. She’s also the author of the best-selling memoir, The Last Black Unicorn.
Based on her observable traits and behaviors, Tiffany Haddish is likely an Enneagram Seven. Enneagram Sevens are optimistic, upbeat and have a childlike enthusiasm for all the things that life has to offer. Always on the go, Sevens seek to avoid boredom and mundane activities for fear of missing out on the good life. With her outgoing personality and glass-half-full outlook, Tiffany Haddish is a perfect example of this fun-loving type. Read more about Tiffany Haddish’s personality type.
Serena Williams: Enneagram Type 8
Despite her immense success and long-lasting legacy, Williams had to fight for her victories. Growing up in the world of sports, Williams faced discrimination in the forms of racism, sexism, and body shaming. While these experiences had an impact on her life, she never gave up on her goals. Today, she continues to be one of the most influential women in sports.
Serena Williams is likely an Enneagram Type Eight. Eights are called “The Challenger” personality type because they take on challenges and encourage others to challenge themselves. Charismatic, energetic and influential, Serena Williams embodies many of the characteristics of the Enneagram Eight type. Read more about Serena Williams’ personality type.
Kamala Harris: Enneagram Type 8
As the United States first-ever woman of color to take the office of Vice President, Kamala Harris is not afraid to stand out. Harris has leadership embedded deep in her personality — she’s a savvy speaker, a strategic thinker and a dedicated champion for those without a voice.
Based on her observable traits and behaviors, Kamala Harris is likely an Enneagram Eight. Eights are motivated by obtaining power, but not for power’s sake; they use their position to further implement what they believe in and protect others who are more vulnerable than themselves. This motivation is clear in Vice-President Harris’ positions on women’s rights, health care, economic opportunity, racial justice, criminal justice reform, immigration and more. Read more about Kamala Harris’ personality type.
Aretha Franklin: Enneagram Type 8
One of the most moving and iconic performers of all time, Aretha Franklin was known for her powerful voice and a stage presence to match. Aretha was also a civil rights leader — singing at protests and making sure activist groups had funding — and intensely private about her family and personal life.
Aretha was likely an Enneagram Type Eight. Eights are known for their bold choices, inimitable confidence, and deep sense of justice — all of which Aretha had in spades. She did not shy away from speaking loudly on behalf of others, and made her own musical choices regardless of critical perception. A true diva with a big personality and a big voice, she also had a heart for people seeking justice. Read more about Aretha Franklin’s personality type.
Alicia Keys: Enneagram Type 9
Selling more than 90 million records worldwide and racking up an impressive 15 Grammy awards, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys is one of the most celebrated R&B and Hip Hop artists of all time.
Based on her observable traits and behaviors, Alicia Keys is likely an Enneagram Nine, “The Peacemaker.” Nines are independent, flexible, non-judgmental and prioritize peace and harmony in their environments. Alicia is known for her calm and easy-going personality. Despite her massive industry success, she has maintained a low profile when it comes to her personal life.