On April 13, 1997, Tiger Woods became the first African American to win the Masters. Here are 16 other black trailblazers who have broken barriers and set records for future African Americans to follow in their footsteps.
Angelou is the first African-American poet to participate in a presidential inaugural ceremony. She recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.
In 1997 Banks became the first black woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated in a solo shoot. For the cover’s 10-year anniversary, she donned the same pink-and-white polka-dot swimsuit.
Braun became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992. She served as an Illinois senator from 1993 to 1999. Braun ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004 and for mayor of Chicago in 2011.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Douglas became the first African-American gymnast to win the individual all-round competition.
In 1989 Wilder became the first African American to be elected governor in the U.S. since Reconstruction. He was governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994 and was later elected mayor of Richmond.
Singleton was the first African American to be nominated for best director at the Academy Awards. He was nominated for his debut film, Boyz N the Hood, in 1991 but lost to Jonathan Demme for Silence of the Lambs.
Jemison is the first African-American female astronaut. In 1992 she flew into space aboard the Endeavour. Twenty years later she talked to The Root about focusing on science literacy for African-American children.
Marshall was the first black Supreme Court justice. He argued Brown v. Board of Education before the court in 1954 and was appointed to the court in 1967, where he served for 24 years.
In 2012 Minor became the first African-American editor-in-chief of a Condé Nast publication when she was selected to lead Brides magazine.
Thompson is the first African-American CEO and president of McDonald’s Corp. He took the reins in 2012 after 23 years with the company.
Luter is the first black president of the mostly white Southern Baptist Convention. He is the pastor of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.
In 1961 Hunter-Gault became the first African-American woman to integrate the University of Georgia. Another first? In 1988 she became the first black commencement speaker at her alma mater.
Robinson was the first African American to play major-league baseball. In 1947 he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and later led them to a win in the World Series in 1955.
Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Three 6 Mafia is the first rap group to win an Oscar. The group won in 2006 for best original song for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” on the 2005 Hustle & Flow soundtrack.
Lewis (Olivia’s old boo on Scandal) has been tapped as the first African American to play the lead role in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.