Getting ahead in life is never easy, especially for members of groups who routinely suffer descrimination. Black women in particular have to fight for the respect they deserve. Through talent, hard work, and determination, countless women of color have found success even if the toughest of circumstances.

Now, many of these successful women are giving advice to those who would follow in their footsteps. They know what it takes to overcome obstacles and earn what they deserve, and now they’re happy to share what they’ve learned along the way. Here’s what four prominent black women have had to say on the subject.

Viola Davis Stresses The Importance Of Commitment

Viola Davis rose up from a life in supreme poverty to become a major Hollywood star. Not only is she the first black woman to be nominated for three Oscars, but she’s also a hugely important activist. Her advice is as simple as it is important: Commit to your dreams. Only by pushing yourself each and every day can you make the most of your potential.

Eartha Kitt Taught Her Daughter To Care For Others

Eartha Kitt, one of the biggest stars of the past hundred years, was much more than merely a singer. As a leading activist and a speaker of four languages, she always knew how to connect with other people. She advised her daughter to live for others, rather than for herself. This is also sound advice for people beyond the singer’s family.

Oprah Winfrey Advocates For Striving

With decades of television experience under her belt, Oprah Winfrey has gone from being a talk show host to a universal cultural force. Her interviews, activism, and support for literature have given her influence as well as worldwide fame. She advises others to strive continuously for the future they want, since you’ll never achieve your dreams without actively improving.

The Slumflower Advocates Self-Acceptance

British writer Chidera Eggerue, often known by her pen name “The Slumflower,” has become a major voice in fashion, mental health, and self-care. She urges her followers not to overlook the importance of self-acceptance and general equanimity. People can follow her example by looking for satisfaction within themselves rather than in the world around them.