Continuing Research

Foundation Highlights Local African American Female Pioneers

Volume III, October 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.

In March, 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 Anne County, Maryland. Now, we are adding eight additional “firsts” to our collection of accomplished African American women. Throughout the remainder of 2021, the Foundation will continue its research, unveiling and adding more indomitable African American women to our website to share with you.

Our first and second research releases, entitled Volumes I and II, were in March and June of 2021. This is the Foundation’s third release, Volume III, and other African American female pioneers continue to be discovered.  As a result, additional “firsts” will be researched and added throughout the remainder of the year. The many accomplished women being discovered require this continued research to appropriately acknowledge their accomplishments, and we will continue to “lift them up” for their contributions to their communities.

With the Volume III update, the Foundation has completed investigations on twenty-six African American female pioneers in numerous categories and with accomplishments from the early 1800s through the present.  We have identified business owners, community and civil rights activists, educators, civil servants, managers, and political figures, as well as other categories.

Please continue to reference our website regularly for the latest updates, and don’t forget to view our Volume I and Volume II releases if you have not already done so.  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 the creation of this project.

Featured Local African American Female Pioneers

October 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.

Sarah V. Jones

Sarah V. Jones

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Sarah V. Jones was the first African American female Supervisor of colored schools in Anne Arundel County, Maryland from 1928 to 1964.
African American Female Pioneers - No Photo On File

Margert Crowner

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Mrs. Margaret Crowner was the first African American female to own and operate the Galesville, Maryland lunchroom that served the Galesville Hot Sox baseball games and the surrounding Black Galesville community.
Josephine C. Young

Josephine C. Young

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Josephine C. Young was the First African American Female from Annapolis to serve in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II.
Marita Carroll

Marita Carroll

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Marita Carroll was one of the first African American female civil rights activist who helped to make a difference in Annapolis and beyond.
Janie L. Mines

Janie L. Mines

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Janie L. Mines was the first and only African American female among the 81 women who entered the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in 1976.
Sheila M. Finlayson

Sheila M. Finlayson

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In 2002, Sheila M. Finlayson became the first African American female elected as President of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Amal Awad

Amal Awad

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Amal Awad is the first female, the first person of color, and the first member of the LGBTQ community to serve as permanent Chief of Police in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Sydney Barber

Sydney Barber

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Midshipman 1st Class, Sydney Barber, was named the first African American Female Brigade Commander during the 2021 spring semester at the United States Naval Academy (USNA), a first in its 175-year history.

Featured Series: Local African American Female Pioneers