Without knowing what the exact focus of your research paper, I can make a few suggestions when writing the introduction. You should start with a hook. That hook can be an interesting or little known fact that you have come across in your research. Is there a statistic that you found that most people might not know that is central to the theme of your paper? I am sure that there is some fact or statistic about black American women that many people would be interested to know about. If it is related to your thesis, open with that.
An anecdote is another way you can open. Relate a story to the reader about a specific black American woman that also relates to your thesis. Get the reader interested in her and what makes her story, along with others like her, worth knowing about. You can always follow this up with an interesting statistic or related fact if you have one.
Once you have hooked your reader, you should make it clear what exactly it is that your research paper is addressing. What is it that you are studying in this paper? This should make it obvious why you included the hook that you did. Also be clear on why this is an important topic to investigate.
From here you can lay out a little roadmap of the rest of your paper. Briefly, explain your research methodology and the main points of your findings. If there are prior studies that came to similar or different findings, you should briefly mention those as well. Most importantly, you want to state the intent of your research. In other words, what exactly do you hope to accomplish with it?
A strong ending to your introduction will be one that will encourage the reader to read on. It should also state clearly the main focus and thesis of your research paper. Make your claim, but do not give away all the details just yet. If your thesis is intriguing enough (and hopefully your hook made it intriguing) your reader will want to continue on with the rest of your paper.