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The 5 Influential Black Women You Should Know

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oneonta chapter.

1. Mae C. Jemison 

  • First African-American woman to be accepted into NASA’s astronaut training program
  • First African-American female astronaut
  • First African-American woman to be sent into space

2. Charlotte Ray

  • Known for being the United States’s first African American female lawyer
  • Attended Howard University where she received her law degree
  • Eventually became a teacher due to obstacles associated with her race and gender in the law field 

3. Dorothy Height 

  • Most known for her work for gender equality.
  • Throughout her life, she worked as an educator, and she held positions on the National Council of Negro Women, as well as the Young Women’s Christian Association.

4. Patricia Roberts Harris 

  • First African American woman to hold a Cabinet position
  • First African American woman to head a law school 
  • First African-American woman to act as a US ambassador

5. Althea Gibson 

  • First African-American woman to compete at the US National Championships (tennis)
  • First African-American to compete at Wimbledon (1951)
  • Known for breaking racial barriers in professional golf



Emily Barry

Oneonta '19

Hey everyone! My name is Emily Barry and I am currently a senior at SUNY Oneonta! I am a biochemistry student and when I'm not drowning in assignments, I like to read, spend time with friends and family, and binge watch shows on Netflix! Keep up with my articles or follow me on Instagram/Twitter (@emilyrose0328) to get a glimpse at what's going on with me!