This list of books contains people who fought for the right to follow their dreams. Every individual on this list faced many obstacles that would have stopped some, but it didn’t stop them. Their perseverance is what makes these individuals unique and the first!
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Charlie Takes His Shot: How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf by Nancy Churnin
Charles “Charlie” Luther Sifford (1922-2015) was the first African-American to play on the PGA Tour. Bookshop Affiliate Link
What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan By Chris Barton
Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) was the first African-American congresswoman to come from the south.
She is known for her powerful voice; her most well-known speech was her opening speech for Richard Nixon’s impeachment investigation. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson by Leda Schubert
Raven Wilkinson (1935-2018) was the first African American ballerina to join a major classical ballet troupe. Bookshop Affiliate Link
A VOICE NAMED ARETHA BY KATHERYN RUSSELL-BROWN
This is an amazing book about the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (1942-2018). Aretha Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bookshop Affiliate Link
The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath by Julia Finley Mosca
Dr. Patricia Bath (1942-2019) was the African-American to woman complete their residency as an ophthalmologist and the first African-American woman to receive a medical patent. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl
Playing to Win: The Story of Althea Gibson by Karen Deans
Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson by Sue Stauffacher
Althea Gibson (1927-2003) was the first African American to compete and win at Wimbledon.
Bookshop Affiliate Link: Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-Of-Foot Girl
Bookshop Affiliate Link: Playing to Win: How Althea Gibson Broke Barriers and Changed Tennis Forever
Bookshop Affiliate Link: Nothing But Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson
Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford
Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was the first African American to write and direct a major film and the first African American photographer at Vogue and Life magazines. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Mamie on the Mound: A Woman in Baseball’s Negro Leagues by Leah Henderson
Mamie “Peanut” Johnson (1935-2017) was the first female pitcher to play in the Negro Leagues. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Thurgood by Jonah Winter
Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) was the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton By Don Tate
George Moses Horton (1798-1884) was a poet and was the first southern African American man to published. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Jesse Owens Fastest Man Alive by Carole Boston Weatherford
Jesse Owens (1913-1980) was the first American to win four track and field gold medals at a single Olympics. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Bass Reeves (1838-1910) was the first African American to become a U.S. Marshal in the West. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Game Set Match: Champion Arthur Ashe by Crystal Hubbard
Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) is the only African American man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows
Using rhyme, the author briefly tells Janet Collins’s (1917-2003) story of how she became the first African American prima ballerina in 1951. Bookshop Affiliate Link
Love to see this every day !
Thank you so much! It’s a great list! Definitely one of my favorites!