The month of March is recognized as women’s history month and is dedicated to celebrating women and their achievements. It’s always a good time to celebrate black women, in particular, who empower generations to break down barriers. Let’s look at 10 black women and their historical firsts.
Kamala Harris made “her history” on January 20, 2001, when she was sworn in to become the first black and South Asian vice president of the United States. She wore a beaded necklace as a tribute to her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and made the pledge by placing her left hand on a bible that once belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice. Watch Kamala Harris’ swearing-in ceremony.
Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first young poet laureate, captivated us all as she listened to her deliver the inaugural poem on January 20, 2021. In doing so, the 22-year-old became the nation’s youngest inaugural poet. The Harvard graduate’s work focuses on the intersection between feminism, race, youth and community. She delivered her poem, The hill we climb, which touched on a number of topics, including race and national unity. Read the full poem here.
Jennifer King was hired in 2021 to serve as an assistant coach for the Washington Football Team, making her the first black woman to do so in the National Football League’s 101-year history. King says her appointment is a step toward changing the narrative surrounding racial and gender representation in sports leadership. “Representation means so much,” King said in a statement. “It’s really important right now to be a good rep, which I didn’t have growing up. I didn’t have anyone who looked like me at work. To be able to see that, I think, is huge. C it’s super cool to be a part of this.
All you have to say is say “Oprah,” no last name required, and everyone knows who you’re talking about. His name is synonymous with black excellence. In 2003, Oprah Winfrey recorded a net worth of $1 billion, making her the first black woman to accumulate that much wealth. As a philanthropist, she created scholarships and built a school for girls in Africa.
Nia Da Costa was confirmed as director of Captain Marvel 2 for Marvel Studios. This makes her the fourth woman to direct a Marvel Studios image and the first black woman to do so. A graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, she also directed “Top Boy,” the British Netflix drama about two London drug dealers. After directing the 2021 film candy manit also makes DaCosta the first black female director to debut at No. 1 in the US box office.
Mariya Russell is honored and overwhelmed to be the first black woman to receive a Michelin star in the Guide’s 94-year history. It took a long time for a black woman to break through that barrier, and she passed that prestigious milestone. The Michelin Guide is one of the oldest guides that began by rating restaurants and hotels. The Michelin star is now also a mark of excellence for restaurateurs and one of the highest honors a chef can receive.
I love Whoopi Goldberg ever since she played Celie in The purple color, one of my favorite movies of all time. She is the first black woman to win an EGOT – the acronym for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Goldberg won an Emmy twice (2002, 2009), a Grammy in 1985, an Oscar in 1990, and a Tony in 2002. Whether on the daytime talk show View or in the series Harlemwe’re definitely looking at what Whoopi does next.