Janet Collins was the first and only African American to become Prima Ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1951). That was almost 65 years ago and she alone today still holds that accomplishment.

Janet Collins was the first and only African American to become Prima Ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1951). That was almost 65 years ago and she alone today still holds that accomplishment.

Quvenzhané Wallis ... pintsized powerhouse.

Quvenzhané Wallis ... pintsized powerhouse.

Katherine Johnson, photographed at Fort Monroe, in Hampton, Virginia. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

Katherine Johnson, photographed at Fort Monroe, in Hampton, Virginia. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator, the first female pilot of African American descent, & the first person of African American descent to have an international pilot license. Determined to become an aviator, Bessie went to France in 1920 and, a year later, earned her aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, becoming the first American of any gender to receive a license from that organization. She trained as a barnstorming stunt flier in order to make a…

Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator, the first female pilot of African American descent, & the first person of African American descent to have an international pilot license. Determined to become an aviator, Bessie went to France in 1920 and, a year later, earned her aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, becoming the first American of any gender to receive a license from that organization. She trained as a barnstorming stunt flier in order to make a…

NASA's first African-American manager.  Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008) was an African American mathematician who worked at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor agency to NASA. Prior to arriving at NACA's Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943.

NASA's first African-American manager. Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008) was an African American mathematician who worked at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor agency to NASA. Prior to arriving at NACA's Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943.

Dr. Patricia Era Bath is an African American and Native American ophthalmologist, inventor of the Laserphaco Probe.  Bath is the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Her Laserphaco Probe is used to treat cataracts.

Dr. Patricia Era Bath is an African American and Native American ophthalmologist, inventor of the Laserphaco Probe. Bath is the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Her Laserphaco Probe is used to treat cataracts.

Hattie McDaniel, the first black Oscar winner. 1939... I love, love, love this women; seen her in most classic american movies. What a powerful and humorous actress.

Hattie McDaniel, the first black Oscar winner. 1939... I love, love, love this women; seen her in most classic american movies. What a powerful and humorous actress.

Henrietta Lacks (HeLa). If you don't know who she is, you should. She's already changed your life.

Henrietta Lacks (HeLa). If you don't know who she is, you should. She's already changed your life.

Bravest of the brave: U.S. Marshals escorting Ruby Bridges, one of the first African Americans students to attend a white school. by batjas88

Bravest of the brave: U.S. Marshals escorting Ruby Bridges, one of the first African Americans students to attend a white school. by batjas88

Thelma Porter, Miss Subways New York City, 1948. Thelma was the first woman to integrate a beauty contest in America and became the first African American Miss Subways in April, 1948.

Thelma Porter, Miss Subways New York City, 1948. Thelma was the first woman to integrate a beauty contest in America and became the first African American Miss Subways in April, 1948.

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