She Did It First: Celebrating African-American Female Trailblazers

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  • Dr. Maya Angelou
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Tyra Banks
  • Halle Berry
  • Jane Bolin
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Rebecca Lee Crumpler
  • Vanessa Williams
  • Carol Moseley Braun
  • Yvonne Brathwaite Burke
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Shirley Chisholm
  • Jocelyn Elders
  • Gabby Douglas
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Althea Gibson
  • Patricia Roberts Harris
  • Wilma Rudolph
  • Norma Merrick Sklarek
  • Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander

Dr. Maya Angelou 

In honor of Women's History Month, BET.com salutes the paths of 20 legendary African-American women. — Britt Middleton

Acclaimed poet and author Dr. Maya Angelou was the first African-American poet to perform at a presidential inauguration, performing a reading at President Bill Clinton's ceremony in 1993. 

(Photo: Consolidated News Pictures/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)