Famous African American Women
Famed opera singer and civil rights pioneer, Anderson broke a color barrier in classical music when she performed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 1939.
Essayist, poet and playwright, Angelou authored six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1969. She read one of her poems during President Bill Clinton's first inauguration.
Mary McLeod Bethune
Civil rights activist and educator, Bethune founded a school for black students that became Bethune-Cookman University. She also served in the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Yvonne Brathwaite Burke
In 1973 Burke became the first African American woman to represent the West Coast in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to that she served in the California State Assembly from 1967-73.
The first African American woman elected to Congress, Chisholm in 1972 became the first black candidate to run for the presidential nomination of a major party.
Marian Wright Edelman
Founder of the Children's Defense Fund, Edelman has spent her life fighting for the rights and welfare of young people. She is also the first African American woman to be admitted to the Mississippi Bar.
Called the "First Lady of Song," Fitzgerald was one of the most popular singers and recording artists in jazz and popular music.
The first African American women from the South elected to Congress, Jordan played a prominent role in the Watergate hearings of 1974.
One of the greatest U.S. Olympic athletes, Joyner-Kersee won a total of six medals in the long jump and heptathlon events at the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 games.
Well-known writer, editor and educator, Morrison is recipient of the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize, the latter for her novel, Beloved. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
An important civil rights activist, known for her pivotal role in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, Parks will become the first black woman
to have a statue in the U.S. Capitol
Mary Ellen Pleasant
Pleasant was a former slave who became a millionaire entrepreneur, abolitionist and conductor in the "Underground Railroad". She earned the honor "Mother of the Civil Rights in California" for her efforts to end racial discrimination in San Francisco in the 1860s.
Abolitionist, prison reform and women's rights activist, Truth helped recruit African American men to fight for the Union during the Civil War.
Abolitionist, humanitarian and Union spy during the Civil War, Tubman helped rescue 70 slaves through the "Underground Railroad" network.
Business woman, TV personality, producer, actress and philanthropist, Winfrey, has built a media empire that has made her one of the richest women in the world.
February is African American History Month (aka Black History Month). This year's theme is "Black Women in American Culture and History," honoring the many roles they've played in the development of the nation.