Black History: Althea Gibson
Althea Gibson was one of the first black athletes to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first African American to win a Grand Slam title. In the early 1960s she also became the first Black player to compete on the Women’s Professional Golf Tour.
Black History: Yvonne Brathwaite
Yvonne Brathwaite Burke was the first African-American woman elected to the state assembly. She represented the West Coast in Congress. In 1973, she became the first member of the U.S. Congress to give birth while in office, and she was the first person to be granted maternity leave by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Black History: Joseph A. Johnson
The Bishop Johnson History Project is dedicated to celebrating the remarkable life of Bishop Joseph Andrew Johnson, Jr, the first African American to graduate from Vanderbilt University (B.D., 1954), to receive a PhD from the University (1958), and to become a full member of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust. The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University …
Black History: Tyler Perry
In addition to being an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer Tyler Perry made history by opening the first-ever fully black-owned film studio.
Black History: Zinora M. Mitchell-Rankin
Zinora M. Mitchell-Rankin was born in the District of Columbia and was educated at Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia, where she graduated summa cum laude and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1976, and at George Washington University’s National Law Center in Washington, D.C. where she received her Juris Doctorate degree in May 1979. Judge Mitchell-Rankin …
Black History: Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Charlayne Hunter-Gault was the first African American woman to enroll in the University of Georgia; she was also among the first African American women to graduate from the university, earning a degree in journalism in 1963. And in 1978, she became the first Black woman to anchor a national newscast, “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report”.
Black History: Minnie Joycelyn Elders
Minnie Joycelyn Elders was the first African American to serve as Surgeon General. She was also the first woman and first African American to hold the position of Arkansas health director.
Black History: Clara Leach Adams-Ender
Clara Leach Adams-Ender was the 1st black woman and nurse to receive a master’s degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. She was also the 1st woman to be awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge, the 1st black Army Nurse Corps officer to graduate from the Army War College, the 1st black nurse appointed chief of nursing …
Black History: Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Rebecca Lee Crumpler challenged the prejudice that prevented African Americans from pursuing careers in medicine to became the first African American woman in the United States to earn an M.D. degree, a distinction formerly credited to Rebecca Cole. Although little has survived to tell the story of Crumpler’s life, she has secured her place in the historical record with her …
Black History: Vivian McFadden
Today’s black history fact: In 1974, Vivian McFadden became the first black female to serve as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy.