• Minerve Jean

5 Modern-Day Black Female Firsts

We’re taking a look at five amazing Black females who broke the glass ceiling in the best way. We’re bringing these five modern-day Black female firsts to encourage and inspire you to be the trailblazer you were born to be.


1. Carla D. Hayden


Carla D. Hayden is an American librarian who currently holds the title of the 14th Librarian of

Congress. She is the first African American woman to hold the post and the first professional

librarian to hold the prestigious post in over 60 years. Prior to that, she was the CEO of the

Enoch Pratt Free Library and, in 2020, she was elected to the American Philosophical Society.


2. Misty Copeland


Misty Copeland is an American Ballet dancer. She began her career at the age of 13. She

went on to study at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) Summer

Intensive and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. In June 2015, she

was declared Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theater, making her the first African

American woman in the company’s 75-year history.


3. Loretta Lynch


Loretta Lynch is an American lawyer. She served as the 83rd Attorney General of the United

States and was appointed by former President Barack Obama. She is the second African

American and the first American woman to serve the position.


4. Gabrielle Douglas


Gabrielle Douglas is a retired American gymnast who participated in both the 2012 and

2016 Summer Olympics. Both U.S. Olympic teams were gold-winning teams who were given

the nickname “Fierce Five." She became the first African American to become an Olympic all-

around champion. Her life was adapted into a biopic film, The Gabby Douglas Story.


5. Lena Waithe


Lena Waithe is a screenwriter, actress and producer with numerous successful shows and

movies under her belt, such as The Chi, Boomerang, and Queen & Slim. In 2018, she was

included in TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people. She is also the first African American

woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing.


We hope these modern-day female firsts inspire you to trailblaze in whatever you are passionate about. Who are your favorite female trailblazers?


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Minerve Jean is a Haitian-born storyteller who shares her poetry and writings unapologetically. She believes in the power of words and their ability to help and heal. Her debut book, For The Secrets That Gave Themselves Away, is an anthology of raw poetry where she uses words to paint pictures that will resonate with the human soul. She has also contributed pieces to Hercampus, Orange and Blue Magazine and MLNNYC. In her free time, she likes to snack on Avocado toast and curl up with a good book.