Who was the first African-American pitcher to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Who is the first black female billionaire in the United States? The first African American to earn a doctorate from a U.S. university? Find out the answer to these questions and more by browsing our collection of African-American firsts in business, literature, education, law, music and dance, and science and medicine. Explore full biographies, photo galleries, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
Browse our collection of African-American firsts in music and dance, including Al Jarreau, Cleo Laine, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, Marian Anderson and DeFord Bailey. Explore full biographies, photo galleries, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
African-American Firsts: Music & Dance
Explore Biography.com's collection of pioneering African-American women with indelible legacies, including Charlotte E. Ray, Maya Angelou, Maritza Correia, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mary Mahoney, Oprah Winfrey, Octavia E. Butler and Shirley Chisholm. View full biographies, photos, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
African-American Firsts: Women
Who was the first African-American boxing champ? How about World Cycling champ? Who was the first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal? What year did Jackie Robinson break baseball's color barrier? Who was Althea Gibson and what first did she achieve? Detail our collection of pioneering African-American athletes for the answers to these and many more questions, and explore our African-American Firsts: Athletes photos gallery.
African-American Firsts: Athletes
From stereotypical roles as maids and cooks to Academy Award-winning performances in blockbuster movies, African Americans have come a long way in the world of film and television. Early stars like Sidney Poitier and Hattie McDaniel may have been the first actors to win awards for their stellar performances, but modern-day actors such as Denzel Washington and Halle Berry are still breaking new ground as the first African Americans to win Oscars, Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards in certain categories. Learn more about the African-American actors who became the first to change the fabric of film and TV with their dramatic performances.
African-American Firsts: Film & TV
Browse our collection of African-American civil rights activists who were pioneers in their industries, including Vernon Johns, Charles H. Houston, Madam C.J. Walker and John Mercer Langston. Explore full biographies, photo galleries, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
African-American Firsts: Civil Rights Activists
Browse our collection of African Americans who were firsts in the field of literature, including Maya Angelou, James Weldon Johnson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alain LeRoy Locke, Octavia E. Butler, James Alan McPherson, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Charles H. Houston and Frances E.W. Harper. Explore full biographies, photo galleries, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
African-American Firsts: Literature
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Learn more about the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, with our collection of Black History Groups.
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Check out BIO’s original video series, American Freedom Stories, about the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, and the leaders and everyday heroes who fought to make racial equality a reality. Watch videos.
Flip through these photos of some of Black History's most important, controversial and inspiring figures. Check out our African-American Firsts - Athletes, Black Comedians, Million-Dollar Ideas, African-American Biopics, African-American Expats, or explore all of our Black History photos.
Celebrate the historical icons of America's black community through this interactive journey.
- Apollo Theater Interactive Tour
- Apollo Theater Timeline
- Path to Equality
- Who Am I Game
- Harlem Renaissance