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?
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.