Dandara was an Afro-Brazilian Woman, Warrior who lived in the 1600s. She was co-founder of Palmares, a run-away slave community (quilombo) that thrived for almost a century. Bravely she fought alongside Zumbi and others defending the freedom of her people and her community. Palmares was eventually overthrown by Dutch and Portuguese colonizers, but rather than return to slavery, Dandara took her own life as an act of resistance.
Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz, a mixed-race woman with an amazing intellect, was largely self-taught. One of Latin America’s greatest poets, she rejected many proposals to become a nun in 1667, to devote her life to study. "She stands at the beginning of the history of Mexican literature in the Spanish language." When she defended women's right to education, the Archbishop condemned her "waywardness" and she sold her 4,000 books and her musical and scientific instruments. Link goes to bio.
Escrava Anastácia, or Anastácia the slave, was an 18th century Brazilian slave. She suffered a brutal existence because she refused to give in to the sexual desires of her master. Much of her life is the subject of folklore and is sometimes depicted with blue eyes. A woman of great beauty, she was muzzled with a mask and often suffered in silence. Today, throughout Brazil, many women wear the mask in public displays in honor of Anastácia as a sysmbol of resistance.