With Black Women’s History Month upon us, it is crucial that we recognize the important achievements of Black women who are dismantling obstacles and making history in a variety of fields.
Black women are leading the way, exhibiting perseverance, inventiveness, and a dedication to greatness. As such, NewsOne is highlighting some remarkable Black women who are breaking ground in 2023 and making an impact in their areas. These women serve as an inspiration to younger generations, showcasing the limitless potential of Black women in all fields.
Tamia Potter, a medical student at Case Western Reserve University, has made history. By becoming the first Black woman to join the neurosurgery residency program at Vanderbilt University. Potter’s passion for the workings of the human brain and nervous system, began in childhood. Since has driven her toward this career path. Her achievement has garnered nationwide attention, breaking down barriers in a field where Black women are underrepresented. She hopes to serve as a role model for future generations of Black women in medicine.
Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee declared her desire to run for Houston’s next mayor at a Sunday church service. She would hold the position for the first time as a Black woman if elected. Since 1995, Jackson Lee has served as a representative for Texas’ 18th congressional district. Congresswoman Lee has a lengthy history of involvement in civic and community activities. Her campaign is likely to center on problems like affordable housing, public safety, and economic growth.
As the first Black woman to win two Oscars, Ruth E. Carter, the costume designer for the “Black Panther,” movie franchise, has created history. Carter received the Best Costume Design award for the Marvel sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” at the 95th Academy Awards. The first “Black Panther” movie earned her the same honor in 2018. Carter was instrumental in bringing Wakanda to life with the character’s fashionable and vibrant clothing, which helped make “Black Panther” a global sensation.
In February, Jennifer L. McClellan gained the important distinction of becoming the first-ever Black woman elected in Virginia to the U.S. House of Representatives. Before that, in 2018, McClellan won the election to represent Richmond in the Virginia Senate as the first African-American woman.
Marvina Thomas is the first Black woman to own and operate a dispensary in Arizona. Her dispensary, 420 Kingdom, opens its doors in March 2021 and is situated in Phoenix. As her father passed away from pancreatic cancer, she said she saw the beneficial effects of medicinal marijuana on his symptoms. Thomas—a veteran and mother of four—was motivated to seek a career in the cannabis sector. She wants to assist in reducing the racial inequalities in the cannabis sector by setting an example for other Black women to join.
Joanna McClinton made history when she was sworn in as the state’s first Black woman speaker after being elected by her peers to lead the Pennsylvania House. McClinton, a member of the House of Representatives, was chosen by a unanimous vote. She is not just the first Black woman to hold the position, but she was also the first woman elected speaker in Pennsylvania. Which makes her appointment as speaker a pivotal moment in the political history of the state.
ExpandHR was founded by two African American women, Shayna Atkins and Delmar Johnson, and is the first user-friendly human resources platform run by Black women. The entrepreneurs hope to change the recruiting process for entrepreneurs while maintaining compliance in their enterprises by drawing on their professional expertise as business owners. Additionally, the platform offers affordable payroll administration solutions, human resources consultancy, and a streamlined onboarding procedure for new workers and contractors.
Kyra Harris Bolden, a resident of Southfield, made history by becoming the first Black woman to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court. Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Bolden to the bench, calling her “an exceptional jurist who will serve the people of Michigan with distinction.” Bolden has more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer and formerly held the position of judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals. She is a member of several legal organizations and mentors aspiring attorneys.
At the Philadelphia-based private school Springside Chestnut Hill School, Autumn Lockwood was the first Black woman coach. Lockwood, a native of North Philadelphia, started playing basketball at the age of 6 and received interest from colleges. She had previously worked as an assistant coach at a number of institutions and coached a young basketball team. Young Black girls should witness someone who looks like them in a leadership role, according to Lockwood, who also intends to encourage greater diversity in the coaching profession.
Representative Linda Dorcena Forry was the first Black woman to be elected speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2017. Before being elected, Forry, a Democrat from Haiti, had served as a representative for a portion of Boston for ten years. Before becoming speaker, she held the positions of majority whip and assistant majority leader. Her victory was a considerable improvement in representation in Massachusetts politics. Which came under fire for having a monolithic leadership. It was a momentous day for the state and the nation when Forry was chosen as the first Black woman speaker of the House of Representatives.
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