African American Women's Firsts: Part Two (Photo Gallery)

The MAKERS mission is to assemble the largest collection of women's stories ever. During Black History Month, we take a look at the unknown stories of African American women and the incredible firsts these women were able to accomplish despite the persecution, segregation and racism they faced.

Part two of our photo gallery begins in the mid-20th century with a trailblazer who served in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Black Cabinet" and ends in 1983 with a new face of Miss America.

Take a look at these remarkable African American women's firsts.

Gallery

1938 Mary McLeod Bethune becomes the first female African American federal agency head when she is appointed to Director of the Division of Negro Affairs within the National Youth Administration. Bethune was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Black Cabinet, an advisory board to the administration on issues facing black people in America. Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt are pictured here.  Photo: National Archives and Records

1939 Ethel Waters becomes the first African American to star in her own television program, The Ethel Waters Show, on NBC. She also becomes the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award in 1962.

1940 Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind. Photo: Washington Post/Getty Images

1944 Camilla Williams becomes the first African American woman to receive a contract with a major American opera company. Photo: Library of Congress

1948 High jumper Alice Coachman becomes the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, doing so in the 1948 London games. Photo: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

1948 Amanda Randolph becomes the first African American to star in a network television sitcom, The Laytons. Photo: Moviepix

1950 With her second book of poetry, Annie Allen (1950), Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Photo: Getty Images

1952 Cora Brown becomes the first African American woman elected to a United States state senate, winning a seat in the Michigan State Senate. Photo: michiganwomen.org

1952 Educator, newspaper publisher and editor, and civil rights activist, Charlotte Bass becomes the first African American woman nominated for Vice President.  She was a candidate for the Progressive Party. Photo: University of Southern California

1954 Dorothy Dandridge becomes the first African American woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Carmen Jones. This same year, she also becomes the first individual African American woman to appear on the cover of Life magazine. Photo: Getty Images

1956 Althea Gibson becomes the first African American Wimbledon tennis champion. Photo: NY Daily News via Getty Images

1958 Ruth Carol Taylor becomes the first African American flight attendant, working for Mowhawk Airlines.

1966 Donyale Luna becomes the first African American model to appear on the cover of Vogue (British). Photo: Getty Images

1968 On Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and William Shatner (Captain Kirk) perform the first interracial kiss on a network television drama.

1968 Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives. In 1972, Chisholm goes on to become the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Photo: Library of Congress

1968 Nancy Hicks Maynard becomes the first African American woman reporter for The New York Times. Photo: Maynard Institute

1969 Lillian Lincoln becomes the first African American woman to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School. Photo: LillianLincoln.com

1972 Playwright and actor Vinnette Justine Carroll becomes the first African American woman to direct a Broadway production, the musical Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope.

1973 Gloria Hendry plays the first African American "Bond Girl," Rosie Carvie, in a James Bond movie, Live and Let Die. Photo: Getty Images

1975 Civil rights leaders Barbara Jordan and Addie L. Wyatt become the first African American women named as Time magazine's Person of the Year. Pictured is Barbara Jordan.  Photo: Getty Images

Pictured is Addie L. Wyatt, one of the first African American women named as Time magazine's Person of the Year. 

1977 Patricia Roberts becomes the first African American woman to serve in the U.S. Cabinet.  She was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Carter Administration. Photo: Department of Housing and Urban Development

1983 Vanessa Williams becomes the first African American Miss America. Photo: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images