0 25 Innovative & Original Black History Champions

From the digital pages of Empower Encyclopedia(c) 1998 - 2008, here are 25 innovative and original black history champions from A - M.

There are many more of course, but this time, we shine the beacon on these 25:

  1. Dr. Sadie Tanner Alexander - The first Black woman Ph.D. in the United States (Doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, 1921).

  2. Guion Stewart Bluford Jr.- First African American astronaut (in space) aboard the space shuttle Challenger on August 30, 1983.

  3. Justice Jane M. Bolin - America's first African American woman judge, appointed to the Court of Domestic Relations in New York City by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia on July 22, 1939.

  4. Thomas Bradley (1917-1998) - First African American elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 1973.

  5. Ensign Jesse Brown - First black aviator in the U.S. Navy in 1948.

  6. Jill Brown - First black woman accepted for pilot training by the U.S. Navy in 1974. In 1978, she became the first African American female pilot/First Officer with a major carrier: Texas International Airlines.

  7. Dr. Ralph J. Bunche - First African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1950).

  8. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke - First woman elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (1976).

  9. Sergeant William H. Carney - First African American awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

  10. Gwendolyn B. Cherry, (1924-1979) - First African American woman elected to the Florida Legislature (1970).

  11. Nathaniel Sweetwater Clifton - First African American to play in the National Basketball Association (1950 with the New York Knicks).

  12. Bessie Coleman, (1892-1926) - First black woman in the United States to receive a pilot's license.

  13. Ernie Davis, (1940-1963) - First African American to win the Heisman Trophy (1961 as a football half-back with Syracuse University).

  14. Dr. Charles R. Drew, (1904-1950) - Founded the first blood bank (1940).

  15. Lelia Foley - First African American female mayor in America (Taft, Oklahoma, April 3, 1973).

  16. W. Wilson Goode - First African American elected Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (sworn in on January 2, 1984).

  17. Patricia R. Harris, (1924-1985) - First black woman to hold a top cabinet post (Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Jimmy Carter in 1977).

  18. Judge William H. Hastie, (1904-1976) - First African American U.S. federal judge... and the youngest at age 32 (1936).

  19. Matthew A. Henson, (1866-1954) - First explorer to reach the North Pole on (April 6, 1909).

  20. General Daniel "Chappie" James Jr. - First African American (Air Force) to obtain the rank of full four-star General (1975).

  21. Hazel W. Johnson - First African American woman (Army) to obtain the rank of General (September, 1979).

  22. William H. Lewis - First African American to hold the position of Assistant U.S. Attorney General (1911 by President William H. Taft).

  23. Autherine Lucy - First African American student enrolled at the University of Alabama in 1956.

  24. Mary Elizabeth Mahoney, (1846-1926) - First African American to graduate with a diploma in nursing (1879).

  25. Thurgood Marshall, (1908-1993) - First African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court (by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967).