Celebrating African American History Month

8 Influential African American First



1.Carter G. Woodson {December 19, 1875 – February 26, 1926}



  • He started African American History Month.
  • In 1915 Carter G. Woodson helped found the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
  • Formed the African American owned Associated Publishers press in 1921.



“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” said Carter G. Woodson





  2. Madame C.J Walker{ January 23, 1867- May 25, 1919}



  • Madame C.J walker was the first woman millionaire.
  • She developed vegetable shampoo, wonderful hair grower and other beauty products.
  • She opened walker college  of hair culture where african american women would learn how to style hair.



“I am merely not satisfied in making money for myself,I endeavor to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race,” Said Madame C.J Walker







3. Thurgood Marshall { July 2, 1908- January 24, 1993}



  • Thurgood Marshall was the First African American to serve on the Supreme Court. While serving he won 29 out of 32 cases .
  • Marshall’s most Famous case and one of the greatest supreme court decisions of the 20th century, Brown Vs. The Board Of Education, a case that went to the supreme court that he won proving that segregation in schools unconstitutional.
  • In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall for the Supreme Court. He was confirmed by the Senate on August 30, 1967.


 “Ending racial discrimination in jury selection can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely,” Said Thurgood Marshall






4.Maya Angelou {April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014} 



  • Maya Angelou was the first African American woman to have a non fiction best seller.
  • In high school Maya became the first African American street car conductor. .
  • In 1995 Angelou was praised for remaining on The New York Times’ paperback nonfiction best-seller list for two years it was the longest-running record in the chart’s history.



You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise

            – Maya Angelou “Still I rise





5.Thomas L. Jennings {1791- 1856}



  • He was the leader of the abolitionist movement.
  • He invented and received a patent for his invention dry scoring which is known today as dry cleaning.
  • Thomas L. Jennings was the first african american to receive rights to his own invention.




6.Mae C. Jemison {October 7, 1956-}



  • On June 4, 1987 Mae Jemison became the first African American female to be accepted into the astronaut training program.
  • A year later she became the First African American female astronaut.
  • On September 12, 1992 Jemison flew into space with six astronauts. That day she became the first African American female to travel to space.


    “What we find is that if you have a goal that is very, very far out, and you approach it in little steps, you start to get there faster. Your mind opens up to the possibilities,”said Mae Jemison





  7.Barack Obama { August 4, 1961}



  • The first African american president.
  • Obama signed more landmark legislation than any other democratic President his most popular legislation was the affordable healthcare act also known as Obamacare.
  • Obama went on to serve two terms and went out in 2017 as one of the most popular and fun presidents.


   “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,” said Barack Obama





8.Patricia Roberts Harris { May 31, 1924 – March 23, 1985}

Cabinet Secretary


  • Patricia Roberts Harris was the first African American woman to ever hold a cabinet position.
  • In 1977 Harris got selected by President Jimmy Carter for his Cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Patricia Roberts harris  worked hard to end discriminatory housing, employment practices and to better and rebuild urban community.



   “Senator, I am one of them. You do not seem to understand who I am. I am a black woman, the daughter of a dining-car worker … If my life has any meaning at all, it is that those who start out as outcasts can wind up as being part of the system,” said Patricia Roberts Harris