American Women vs African Americans: who acheives "Firsts" first?

In U.S. History, how do women and African Americans compare for “firsts”? In areas where both women and African Americans have both been disenfranchised or unrepresented, which group more often reached the goal first?

The Fifteenth Amendment gave Blacks the Vote in 1870.
Women didn’t get the Vote until the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

If Obama wins this year’s Presidential Election, we’ll have our first black President before our first woman President.

P. B. S. Pinchback was the first black U.S. Governor in 1872, but he was not elected to the office. As Lieutenant Governor (office to which he was elected) he assumed the office of Governor after his predecessor had been impeached.
In 1925, Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman elected as Governor of a U.S. State.
The first elected black Governor did not happen until Douglas Wilder was elected in Virginia in 1989.
Legal and Civil Rights and elected office need not be the only categories:
First to graduate from an Ivy League school?
First to become a practicing surgeon?
First commercial airline pilot?
First CEO?

Sports and Entertainment generally don’t have helpful categories since women often are separated- Women’s Sport Teams and Competitions separate from Men’s Sport Teams and Competitions, therefore first black professional Basketball Player beating out first first women professional Basketball Player is a non-category. Academy Awards would have to be for “Best Acting” to be able to compare women first vs. black first- instead, there is a separate category for “Best Actor” (male) and “Best Actress” (female). So, significant “Firsts” tend to be “first black x” and “first black z”. But perhaps there are some categories where both women and blacks are equally underrepresented in contrast to white men.
First to own a major sports franchise?
First to break a sports record?
First to direct a Hollywood film?
First to win an Academy Award for Directing? Screenplay?
First to be the highest paid Hollywood Star in a given year?

The categories are probably countless. Without a strict list of qualifying categories, it may not be possible to come up with an indisputable GQ answer one way or another- in fact we could probably have a lengthy GD Thread discussing what categories qualify as having significance.

Still, sticking to GQ standards, I think even if we can’t come up with a definitive answer we could still decide:

Too close and/or subjective to call?
A little of each but generally women achieve “Firsts” first?
A little of each but generally blacks achieve “Firsts” first?
Also, there probably is a solid GQ answer to this: Has there ever been a category of achievement for which a black woman made such achievement before a white woman and before a black man?

Also, discussion about race in the U.S. tends to focus on white and black- but are there significant “Firsts” for which both white women and black men are beat out by a man or woman of a non-African American minority group?

Why not use Wikipaedia and make a effort to research the data yourself.

If you won’t do that, why should one of us take the time to do it for you? :rolleyes:

Lovely tone for GQ. Actually, the examples I gave come from my own research.

I have not been able to find any side by side comparison. Wikipedia has a “list of African American Firsts” page, but no “list of Woman Firsts” page.

Coming up with a list of significant categories is subjective, so lively discussion with informed and curious participants seems necessary since the subjective nature makes a “one-stop” research source nearly impossible.

Also makes it difficult GQ territory but I acknowledged such in the OP.

Topics that have no “one-stop” research source are perfect topics for GQ. If you disagree, I can’t imagine any possible GQ topic that would not be an equal target for your snitty response.

I think the problem here is that you’re comparing apples and oranges. Because things like sports will remain segregated by gender for the forseeable future, there’s no real comparison.

I don’t think there’s any argument that women have made much more headway in politics than African-American [men], though.

There have been five black Senators, but a couple of dozen women. Carol Moseley-Braun is the one and only black female Senator so far.

There have also been more than two female Representatives for every one black one. Of course, a lot of this comes down to weight of numbers; women make up ~50% of the population, while black people make up ~13%.


spingears, this is an inappropriate post for GQ.

From the GQ Rules sticky at the top of the page:

In any case, if you have a problem with a post, it’s better to report it than criticize the poster.

Please refrain from such useless posts in the future.

General Questions Moderator