Unstoppable African American Women That Created History | Black History
Jackson was the first African American female aeronautical engineer in NASA department. Along with a handful of other genius African American women, Jackson was the brains behind NASA going to space. The story of her life at NASA is depicted in 2016 Hidden Figures.
In 1981, Alexa Canady became the first female African-American neurosurgeon in the United States.
ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood honoree Rhimes is the first African-American woman to create and executive-produce a top 10 primetime television series with ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; she’s also the woman behind Private Practice and is currently developing Scandal, starring Kerry Washington. The Dartmouth graduate is arguably the most powerful Black woman in Hollywood and one of the most sought-after writers and producers in entertainment.
Oprah Winfrey may be best known for her work as a daytime talk show host, but she’s making waves as the creator of the Oprah Winfrey Network. She’s the second African-American woman to start her own network (after Cathy Hughes). Not to mention, she founded Harpo Productions in the late 80s. Today, Forbes puts her worth at over $2.7 billion.
In 2000, Foster became the first black woman to be nominated for vice president by a Federal Election Commission recognized and federally funded party.
Janice Bryant Howroyd
Howroyd founded her employment staffing firm, ACT-1, in 1978 with just $1,500, a small office and a telephone. 34 years later, ACT-1 is the largest American company of its kind owned by a woman of color, with over 70 branches nationwide.
Simmons, formerly the president of Smith College, became the first black woman to head an Ivy League university when she became the 18th president of Brown in 2001. She resigned in 2012.
Source: Kris Connor
In 2001, Rice became the first black woman to serve as the U.S. national security adviser. She then became the first black woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state in 2005.
Source: Robin Kim
Cheryl Boone Isaacs
In 2013, Isaacs was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making her the third woman and first African-American to hold the position.
Source: Mark Ralston
In 2002, Vernice Arnour became the first black woman to become a female combat pilot. Her hard work pushed her from beat cop to combat pilot in just three years.
Hillary, a retired nurse and lung cancer survivor who was raised in Harlem, became the first black woman to reach the North Pole at the age of 75 in 2006.
Sheila C. Johnson
Co-founder of BET, the first black woman to have stakes in three professional sports teams, and vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Johnson became the first female billionaire in 2001, along with her then-husband Robert Johnson. She may no longer be a billionaire, but she is still ranked the seventh-richest African-American in the U.S. and is second only to Oprah among black women.
Source: Mike Coppola
Some of you may not know that Nyong’o made history when she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The star was the first Kenyan and Mexican actress to ever win the award.
Source: Andrew Goodman
Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress in 1969 from her district in New York City, and she served for 14 years.
She began her career in education administration, having earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Columbia University, and went on to serve as a consultant to the New York City Bureau of Child Welfare. In the years following, her experience led her into political arena, where she served as a state legislator for three years before heading to the U.S. House of Representatives. Chisholm was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus shortly after her election. After roughly two terms in Congress, Chisholm entered the 1972 presidential race in the Democratic primary, making her the first black candidate to run for a major party nomination.
Source: Richard Drew
Madam C.J. Walker
Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, is widely regarded as one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. Prompted by her experience with early hair loss during the 1890s, Walker created hair care remedies primarily with black women in mind. A brilliant and tenacious businesswoman (deemed a “marketing magician” by Henry Louis Gates Jr.), Walker began by selling door-to-door.
Early successes allowed Walker to more widely manufacture her products and cultivate a team of around 40,000 brand ambassadors — a recipe that bolstered her name-recognition and her wealth and, according to Gates, provided her “Walker Agents” with “with avenues up out of poverty.” Her philanthropic efforts included sizable donations to the YMCA, the NAACP and other black cultural organizations.
Source: Brian Kersey
This list can literally go on forever but I must know, who would you add to this list?