African American Women
Celebrating African American women throughout history and their achievements!
Spelman History is Women's History: Dr. Georgia Dwelle, HS'00 -- When she entered Meharry Medical College in 1900, Dwelle became the first Spelman graduate to attend medical school, and in 1920 she established the Dwelle Infirmary, Georgia's first general hospital for African Americans and its first obstetrical hospital for African American women.
Oprah Winfrey - talk show host, actress, producer, philanthropist and entrepreneur. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century and was for some time the world's only African American billionaire. Her famous show, "The Oprah Winfrey Show," was the highest-rated program of its kind in history.
Hazel Scott - She was a musical prodigy and studied at the Julliard School from eight years old! Scott eventually became one of the most recognized jazz artists in the world. She also was the first woman of color to have her own television show, the Hazel Scott Show debuted in 1950.
Leontyne Price. On January 27, 1961, she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore where she received a 42-minute ovation, one of the longest in the Met’s history. She has 15 Grammys for voice recordings, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1964), the Kennedy Center Honors (1980), and the National Medal of Arts (1985).
Singer-Songwriter, Actress, Businesswoman, Humanitarian, and Author. Gladys Maria Knight aka the "Empress of Soul". Seven time Grammy Award Winner and lead vocalist of the hit soul group Gladys Knight and The Pips.
Ph.D. portrait of Sadie T.M. Alexander, 1921. The first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in Economics, the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the first national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the first African-American woman appointed as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia.
Dr. Dorothy Height - developed a multitude of educational programs and policies, including "Wednesdays in Mississippi" which allowed for interracial dialogue between women of the North and South. She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Alice Walker - internationally recognized author, most famous for her novel, "The Color Purple." She won the Pulitzer Prize for it - the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. Her novel was eventually adapted for stage and film.
Althea Gibson - pioneering professional golf and tennis player. She became the first African American tennis player to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She turned pro at the age of 31 and won a total of 5 Grand Slam titles. Later in life, Gibson turned to professional golf and was the first African American woman to join the LPGA. She was later inducted into the prestigious Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971.
Althea Gibson Won Again!
Mary Edmonia Lewis, the first African American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor. Her masterwork, The Death of Cleopatra, is a striking portrayal of Cleopatra after she is bitten by her asp. It garnered Edmonia both acclaim and controversy for such an intimate look at Cleopatra, atypical of her often-portrayed beauty and strength. It was unveiled at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876.
Edmonia Lewis - First African and Native American female sculptor to receive international recognition and fame.