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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!

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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.

Michelle Obama And Jill Biden Discuss Military Spouse Employment At Pentagon

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

Schumer, Pelosi Lead Democrats' Call For GOP Lawmakers To Stand Up To President On Decision To End DACA

First African-American woman named U.S. Vice President: Kamala Harris

76th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

First African-American woman to own and produce her own network talk show: Oprah Winfrey