Did you Know?

February 21, 2017 GMT

Susan Rice was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2009. She is the first African-American woman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th (and current) president of Liberia. Sirleaf is the first and currently the only elected female head of state in Africa.

Mary Church Terrell was known as an early civil rights leader, women’s rights advocate, founder of the National Association of Colored Women, charter member of the NAACP, educator, activist and professional leader.

Mary McLeod Bethune was known for improving educational opportunities for African Americans. She was the president of the National Association of Colored Women. Her statue in Washington, D.C., was the first statue depicting any women or African American in any park in the nation’s capital. Her home is a National Historic landmark.

Daisy Bates was a journalist, newspaper publisher, civil rights activist and social reformer. She was known for her role in the 1957 integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., by a group known as the Little Rock Nine.


Fannie Lou Hamer was the vice chairwomen of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American women elected to the U.S. Congress. She was the first major-party African-American candidate for president of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. On Jan. 31, 2014, the Shirley Chisholm Forever Stamp was issued.

Patricia Roberts Harris served as the secretary of housing and urban development from 1977-1979 and was the first African-American woman to be a member of a presidential cabinet. Harris was also the first African-American women appointed to a U.S. ambassadorship, serving Luxembourg.

Barbara Jordan represented Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1972-78 and was the first African-American congresswoman from the South.

Carol Mosley Braun was elected in 1992 to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate. She was the first African-American woman elected to Senate