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Black History Facts

Carter G. Woodson

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Sherian Grace Cadoria (born January 26, 1943 in Marksville, Louisiana) is a retired United States Army officer and the first African-American female to achieve General rank in the Army. She was the highest ranking female in the Army at the time of her retirement in 1990 with the rank of Brigadier General. She is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. Initially in the Women's Army Corps, she transferred to the Military Police Corps in the 1970s.


Selma Hortense Burke was an American sculptor and a member of the Harlem Renaissance movement. Burke is best known for a bas relief portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt which inspired the profile found on the obverse of the dime.

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Alberta Jones Seaton was one of the first African-American women awarded a doctorate in zoology, in Belgium in 1949. She then moved to East Africa, where she and her husband became involved in African independence movements and she developed an academic career.

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Ann Cole Lowe was an American fashion designer and the first African American to become a noted fashion designer. Lowe's one-of-a-kind designs were a favorite among high society matrons from the 1920s to the 1960s.


Velma Scantlebury GCM also Velma Scantlebury-White is a Barbadian-born American transplant surgeon. She was the first African-American woman transplant surgeon of the United States.

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Shirley Anita Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, and she represented New York's 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983.


Dr. Patricia Era Bath is an American ophthalmologist, inventor, humanitarian, and academic. She was the first woman member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, first woman to lead a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology, and first woman elected to the honorary staff of the UCLA Medical Center.

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Mildred Fay Jefferson was an American physician and political activist. The first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, the first woman to graduate in surgery from Harvard Medical School and the first woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society, she is known for her opposition to the legalization of abortion and her work as president of the National Right to Life Committee.


Ida Gray was the first African-American woman to become a dentist in the United States. An orphan, she became interested in dentistry when she went to work in the offices of Jonathan Taft, an early advocate for women to learn dentistry. After her apprenticeship in his office, Gray was able to pass the entrance examinations to attended the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. When she graduated, it was widely published that she was the first African American dentist in the United States and she was promoted as a role model for women to follow. Gray practiced in Ohio before settling in Chicago, where she remained until her death.

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