African American women have always made history in science, technology, business, politics and even sports. Some of them are well-known, and others have gone unnoticed. Their accomplishments have dated back into the early 1800’s and continue into modern day.
Here’s a list of 12 amazing Black women who recently made history as “the first”:
#1 – Tiffany Haddish: In 2017, she made a hilarious debut appearance on Saturday Night Live and became the first Black woman standup comedian to ever host the show in the show’s entire history.
#2 – Ava DuVernay: In 2016, she became the firt Black woman to direct a film with a $100 million budget when Disney hired her as director of A Wrinkle in Time based on the best-selling novel.
#3 – Gwen Jimmere: In 2016, she became the first and only African-American to hold a patent for a natural hair care product. Her company, Naturalicious, produces an entire collection of popular all-natural hair care and skin care products.
#4 – Angel Rich: In 2017, she became the first Black woman to develop a mobile app that was downloaded more than 200,000 times in two weeks. She also became the first Black woman ever that Forbes called “the next Steve Jobs”.
#5 – Essynce Moore: In 2017, she became the only African American teen author that has written three books that are mandatory readings for several school district curriculums. Her books are a part of a series that she created called The Middle School Chronicles.
#6 – Tia Norfleet: In 2017, she became the first Black woman to be licensed by NASCAR as a professional race car driver. She is also the first Black woman to be licensed by ARCA, the Automobile Racing Club of America.
#7 – Vanessa Braxton: In 2018, she became the first African-American woman to own a nationally distributed vodka. Her company, Black Momma Vodka, offers various unique flavors of handcrafted, gluten-free vodka for women… but still strong enough for any man.
#8 – Maame Biney: In 2018, at just 18-years old, she became the first Black woman ever to join the U.S. speedskating team for the Winter Olympics. The competition took place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
#9 – Melissa Harville-Lebron: In 2018, she became the first Black American woman to own a NASCAR team franchise. Her team, E2 Northeast Motorsports, is the first multicultural team to race competitively in NASCAR.
#10 – Esther Mahlangu: In 1991 and again in 2016, this South African artist and entrepreneur became the first non-Western and first Black woman to design artwork on a BMW car.
#11 – LaToya Cantrell: In 2018, she set a significant milestone as the first woman ever to become the head of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana in its entire 300-year history. She started out as a community organizer when the city was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
#12 – Dr. Hadiya-Nicole Green: In 2016, this physicist and college professor became the first Black woman to ever win a grant of more than $1 million dollars for science research. She used the funding to help develop laser technology that kills cancer cells.