As the world continues to turn, Black women continue to be a leading force across all industries.
While pioneers like Madame CJ Walker, Shirley Chisholm, Hattie McDaniel, Dorothy Dandridge and countless others laid the foundation, there are also plenty of women breaking barriers today.
From education and politics, to music, sports and film, Black Girl Magic continues to make history daily.
Here’s a look at Black women who have made history with their “firsts” in the last 15 years.
In 2022, Quinta Brunson became the first Black woman to receive three Emmy nominations in the comedy category in one year for her sitcom Abbott Elementary.
On January 27, 2023, Starr Andrews became the first Black Woman To medal At the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 35 years.
On January 24, Angela Bassett became the first actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a Marvel role.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
At the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, Sheryl Lee Ralph became the first Black woman to win the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 35 years.
In 2014, Tamron Hall became the first Black woman to co-anchor ‘Today’ Show. “I’m a part of this for women, for Black women, for all of us,” she told ESSENCE.com.
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
First Black spokesperson for Lancome
Carla D. Hayden
First Black Librarian of Congress
First Black woman to win an Oscar for best actress.
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First Black woman to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic swim team
First Black performer to be appointed principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater
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First Black woman to become First Lady of the United States
First Black female director to receive a Golden Globe Award
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First Black woman to become Attorney General of the United States
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First Black woman to be named president of the American Bar Association
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In 2017, she became the first Black female Republican to be elected to Congress.
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First Black woman to be the face of Dior
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty images
First Black woman to create and executive produce a top 10 network series
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First Black woman to become individual all-around Olympic champion
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First artist ever to have 6 albums debut at Number 1 on the Billboard charts
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First Black all-around world champion
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Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker
In 2018, she became the first Black woman mayor of Charlottesville, VA.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell
She is the first Black woman to be elected mayor of New Orleans.
LaToya Cantrell Facebook
She is the first Black woman to be named Deputy Chief of the NYC Fire Department.
In 2017, Lena became the first Black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing.
@MiaBLove: “Hey President Obama – Yoda was right, “Do or do not, there is no try.” We need progress, not excuses. #townhalldebate #CantAfford4More”
In 2018, Oprah became the first Black woman to receive the prestigious Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Kevork Djansezian/NBC/Getty Images
Upon inauguration on January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris became the first female vice president as well as the first African American and first Asian American vice president.