Ruby Bridges, 1960 Ruby Bridges (born 1954) was the first African American child to desegregate an elementary school when she walked into William Frantz Elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960.
Though born into slavery Biddy Mason gained freedom for herself and her children in 1856. Only ten years later she had saved enough money to purchase property, making her the first African American woman to own land in Los Angeles. A nurse and midwife by profession, she helped found the first elementary school for African American children in Los Angeles,
Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray became the first African American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest in 1977 at the age of 67, the first Black deputy attorney general in the state of California in 1945, the first Black American to receive a J.S.D. from Yale Law School in 1965, and graduated first (and the only woman) in her Howard University Law School class in 1944.
Dr. Eliza Ann Grier. Born a slave, she became the first African American woman to practice medicine in Georgia (in 1898 in Fulton County). To pay for her medical education, she alternated every year of studies with a year of picking cotton. She devoted her practice to improving health and hygiene standards for African Americans in the rural South.