Continuing Research

Foundation Highlights Local African American Female Pioneers

Volume II, June 2021

African American Female Pioneers

African American Female Pioneers

The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, Inc. continues our series highlighting local African American Female Pioneers

In March 2021 in celebration of Women’s History Month, the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation undertook a full-year research initiative to identify and highlight the many African American Female Pioneers in our local area of Annapolis and Ann Arundel County, Maryland, and now, for our summer release, we are adding ten additional “firsts” to our wall of accomplished African American Female Pioneers.

Throughout history, Black women have overcome insurmountable odds to achieve their goals. Generally, they have been the last to be given opportunities. Last behind men, and last behind women of other ethnic backgrounds.  However, as paraphrased from poetry by Maya Angelou…Still They Rise.

The amazing accomplishments of Black women overall, including prominent African American women, are a testimony to their abilities, their strength, and their courage to say, I am, and I can.

The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation applauds the accomplishments of our first African American female United States Vice President, Kamala Harris. We also take pride in and recognize the accomplishments of many other African American female firsts, for example, Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919), “the first Black woman millionaire in America,” who made her fortune from homemade hair care products, and  Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (1917-2000) American poet, author, and teacher, who received a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950. But, comparable to these firsts, there are so many other African American women, across the country and at local levels, who through the might of their respective talents and wills, have broken the barriers that bound them, and for centuries, these women have served as the backbone of our families and communities.

Throughout 2021, the Foundation will continue its research, unveiling and adding more indomitable African American women to our website to share with you.  Our first research release was posted to the website in March 2021 in celebration of Women’s History Month, with subsequent releases scheduled for summer and early fall of 2021. The many accomplished women being identified require this continued research to appropriately acknowledge these female “firsts.”

To date, the Foundation has completed the investigation of eighteen African Amerian Female Pioneers in numerous categories and with accomplishments from the early 1800s through the present. We have identified business owners, community activists, educators, civil servants, managers, political figures,  and other categories as well.

Please continue to reference our website regularly for the latest updates. We also suggest that you reference the informative historical work of Janice Hayes-Williams at Our Legacy Tours (oltannapolis.com), whose research was motivational in shaping our ideas for this project.

Featured Local African American Female Pioneers

June 2021

Please enjoy and be informed by our research on these featured African American Female Pioneers. Women who were the first to attain achievement in their fields in the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Maryland area.

African American Female Pioneers - No Photo On File

Lucy Smith

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The first African American female to rent and operate a bakeshop at the Annapolis City Market House in the early 1800s.
African American Female Pioneers - No Photo On File

Flora B. Andrews

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The first African American female to serve as Supervisor of Pupil Personnel for the segregated Anne Arundel County Public Schools in 1953.
Sylvia R. McMillan, Ph.D.

Sylvia R. McMillan, Ph.D.

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The first African American female Executive Director of the Anne County Community Action Agency, from 1968 to 1976.
African American Female Pioneers - No Photo On File

Delores C. Hunt, Ed.D.

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The first African American female to Serve on the Board of Education for the Anne Arundel County Public School System from 1970 to 1980.
African American Female Pioneers - No Photo On File

Allyce Cathryn Johnson

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The first African American female on the Anne Arundel Community College Board of Trustees, 1971-1978.
African American Female Pioneers - No Photo On File

Constance Y. Brown

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The first female President of the Anne Arundel County (MD) Chapter of the NAACP in 1972.
Marion Phelps

Marion Phelps

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A native Annapolitan, in 1977, Marion Phelps became the first female president of the Board of Directors of the Community Enterprise Development Association, Inc. (CEDA).
Bertina L. Nick

Bertina L. Nick

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The founding president of the Greater Clay Street Community Development Corp. in Annapolis, Maryland.
Yevola Peters

Yevola S. Peters

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The first African American female to have an Annapolis city street named after her.

Featured Series: Local African American Female Pioneers