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Trailblazing Black History Heroes

Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Kamala Harris as the first Black, Asian, female vice president of the United States.

Phyllis Wheatley was the first Black woman—and one of the first women— to publish a book of poetry in the American colonies.

Mary Eliza Mahoney became America’s first Black licensed professional nurse.

Mary Jane Patterson became the first African American woman in the country to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Cathay Williams was the first African American female enlistee in the U.S. Army.

Maggie Lena Walker was the first Black woman in America to start a bank.

Bessie Coleman, became the first Black-Native American woman in the country awarded a pilot’s license.

Constance Baker Motley, a trial lawyer for the NAACP, played a crucial role in the fight to end segregation.

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