For more than 40 years, the United States has recognized the month of February officially as Black History Month. Born out of a need to emphasize the contributions of blacks within American history, Black History Month has played an important role in highlighting blackness and black excellence in America.
Leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, and many others, have left a mark on American history that has changed the course for many social justice revolutions across the nation.
To commemorate their work, X 102.3 is recognizing and celebrating their fight for equality and justice. African-American role models have charted new courses in black excellence, helping to create history!
First African-American woman to serve as mayor for a major U.S. city: Sharon Pratt
First African-American driver to qualify for the Indy 500: Willy T. Ribbs
First African-American woman in space: Dr. Mae Jemison
First African-American appointed surgeon general of the United States: Dr. Joycelyn Elders
First African-American named U.S. poet laureate: Rita Dove
First African-American to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature: Toni Morrison
First African-American to host the Academy Awards: Whoopi Goldberg
First African-American to win the Masters golf tournament: Tiger Woods
First African-American chess international grand-master: Maurice Ashley
First African-American president of an Ivy League institution: Dr. Ruth Simmons
First African-American billionaire: Robert Johnson. Johnson is an entrepreneur and founder of BET
First African-American named secretary of state: Gen. Colin Powell
First African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress: Halle Berry
First African-American to earn a gold medal at the Winter Games: Vonetta Flowers. Vonetta Flowers is awarded gold medal in the women’s bobsled competition during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
First African-American woman named secretary of state: Dr. Condoleezza Rice
First African-American to reach the peak of Mount Everest: Sophia Danenberg
First African-American to earn an individual gold medal at the Winter Games: Shani Davis
First African-American pilot to fly solo around the world: Barrington Irving Jr.
Senator Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be nominated as a major party nominee for president. He subsequently becomes the first African- American to be elected 44th president of the United States.
Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be reelected to the presidency.
Michelle Obama become the first African-American First Lady of the United States.
First African-American to launch his own film and television studio: Tyler Perry
First African-American to referee a Super Bowl: Mike Carey
First African-American U.S. attorney general: Eric Holder
First African-American to lead the Environmental Protection Agency: Lisa Perez Jackson
First African-American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Cheryl Boone Isaacs
First African-American woman named U.S. attorney general: Loretta Lynch
First African-American promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater: Misty Copeland
First African-American woman named U.S. Vice President: Kamala Harris