In honor of African American History Month- Here are more firsts by women to be inspired by.
Phyllis Wheatley was the first (known) African American poet and first African American woman to publish her poetry. That was 1773.
In 1862, the first African-American woman to earn a B.A.was Mary Jane Patterson. She studied at Oberlin College.
In 1869, the first African-American woman to be a school principal was Fanny Jackson Coppin. She was principal at the Institute for Colored Youth.
Hortense Parker was the first known African-American woman to graduate from one of the Seven Sisters colleges: Mount Holyoke College. That was in 1883.
Let’s make a jump in history. Notice the amazing things African American women were doing centuries ago and there is of course a lot in between, but some things didn’t happen for a while and those things were not because African American women weren’t awesome, it was because the society didn’t let African American women get ahead.
In 2009, Ursula Burns became the first African-American woman CEO of an S&P 100 Company, Xerox Corporation.
There are many more firsts to come this month as we continue to recognize and celebrate African American women. Just as an additional note for firsts- and the presence of women, it wasn’t until 2009 that the First African-American Disney Princess came about. Her name is Tiana and she was in the movie: The Princess and the Frog. This is obviously not a woman, though a popular representation of a woman in cartoon form. I have included her on this list because it is notable that Disney didn’t have an African American princess until 2009, which I would argue, with all the controversy about Disney princesses and whether you want your daughter to be influenced by them, it is still harmful to African American girls to not see themselves represented as princesses.