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In january 2012, filmaker Ava Dduvernay was the first African American woman to win the best director prize at the sundance film festival for her film 'Middle of Nowhere'. #blackhistory

L'TanyaGriffin --- In 1954, Griffin signed a multi-year contract with Edward D. Wood Production company to create gowns for 20 of its films, causing her to become the first African American designer to have a contract with a Hollywood film studio.

african american women pilots First Female African-American Helo Pilot

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.

Juanita Moore (Oct. 19, 1914 – Jan. 1, 2014) was an American film, TV, & stage actress. She was the fifth African American to be nominated for an Academy Award in any category, and the third in the Supporting Actress category at a time when only a single African American had won an Oscar. Moore's portrayal of the broken-hearted housekeeper Annie Johnson whose daughter passes for white in Imitation of Life (1959) won her the nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Ann Petry (October 12, 1908 – April 28, 1997); an African American author who became the first black woman writer with book sales topping a million copies for her novel The Street.

RUTH ODOM BONNER, DAUGHTER OF A SLAVE, OPENED NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE [VIDEO] - Ruth’s father, Elijah Odom, was born into servitude in Mississippi. He was born a slave. As a young boy, he ran to his freedom. He lived through Reconstruction and he lived through Jim Crow. But he went on to farm, and graduate from medical school and raise a family.