Janet Collins was the first and only African American to become Prima Ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1951). That was almost 65 years ago and she alone today still holds that accomplishment.
NASA's first African-American manager. Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008) was an African American mathematician who worked at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor agency to NASA. Prior to arriving at NACA's Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943.
Dr. Patricia Era Bath is an African American/Native American ophthalmologist and the inventor of the Laserphaco Probe. Bath is the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Her Laserphaco Probe is used to treat cataracts.