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African American Women

Celebrating African American women throughout history and their achievements!

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African American Women

African American Women

  • 99 Pins

September 6, 1853 - Women's Right's Convention met in New York City (Sept. 6th and 7th); Sojourner Truth was one of the speakers.

America's History in the Making — Resource Archive

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.

Esther Popel, poet of the Harlem Renaissance and first known female African American graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA

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Mary McLeod Bethune, Ida B. Wells, Nannie Burroughs and other women at Baptist Women's gathering, Chicago.

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.

  • Tracie Graham
    Tracie Graham


Dr. Pauli Murray was the first African American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest. She was also a civil rights and women's rights activist, lawyer, and author.

Pauli Murray Project

Billie Holiday - LOC

Etta James

Marian Anderson Sings at Lincoln Memorial

Marian Anderson Sings at Lincoln Memorial

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.

Education & Resources - National Women's History Museum - NWHM

Vivian Malone Jones - First African American woman to enter and graduate from the University of Alabama.

Education & Resources - National Women's History Museum - NWHM

Dr. C. Delores Tucker - civil rights activist and first African American woman to serve as Pennsylvania's Secretary of State. Tucker also founded the National Political Congress of Black Women in 1985.

Education & Resources - National Women's History Museum - NWHM

Alice Coachman - First African American woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics for the high jump at the 1948 London Olympics.

Lucy Diggs Slowe - one of the original sixteen founders of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She also became the first Dean of Women at Howard University.

About - National Women's History Museum - NWHM

Nannie Helen Burroughs - educator, Church leader and suffragist. She founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C. in 1909.

Education & Resources - National Women's History Museum - NWHM

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.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper - lecturer, author, suffragist and poet. She delivered speeches for the American Woman Suffrage Association and became head of the African American department of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Mary McLeod Bethune - Revolutionary educator.

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!

Edmonia Lewis - First African and Native American female sculptor to receive international recognition and fame.

NEA Jazz Masters Award and Grammy Award winning Jazz singer Sarah Lois Vaughn.

sarah vaughan on Tumblr