First Black women to vote in Ettrick, Virginia, 1920 These women, left to right, are Eva Conner, Evie Carpenter, Odelle Green, Virginia Mary Branch, Anna Lindsay, Edna Colson, Edwina Wright, Johnella Frazer, and Nannie Nichols,
6 year old Ruby Bridges was the first black child in the south to attend a white school after the forced integration following the landmark ruling of Brown Vs. The Board of Education. A willing participant in her mother's decision that she would go and endure what was to be sure a very tough road in the name of helping forge the path of the civil rights movement, Ruby faced death threats and intense bullying with courage and grace.
Annie Malone was the country’s first African American millionaire. Malone built a very successful business creating hair care products for black women. In 1918, Malone established Poro College in north St. Louis, a trade school to train beauticians and barbers, as well as secretaries and bookkeepers to work on the marketing side of the business. Poro was so successful that by the 1930s Malone was one of the wealthiest African American women in the world. (Missouri History Museum, 1927)
Spelman College in Atlanta, one of the oldest historically Black colleges for women, was established as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary in 1881. The school began with just 11 African American women, and after expanding, received support from John D. Rockefeller, eventually being renamed after his wife, abolitionist Laura Spelman. (Photo shows Spelman grads in 1892)
Hazel Scott was one of the most prominent African Americans of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. One of the premier pianists of her time, she traveled the world playing classical and jazz music. Scott began appearing in films in the 1940s and by the 1950s was such a popular presence that she earned the distinction of becoming the first Black woman to host her own television show, The Hazel Scott Show, which aired in 1950.