Notable Soror “Firsts”

Women of Delta break down barriers, shatter glass ceilings, and open long-shut doors in Athletics, Civil Rights, Dance, Economics, Education, Engineering, Law, Literature, Medicine, Motherhood, Music, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Politics, Science, Social Work, Theatre, Theology… here are just a few of the many Delta FIRSTS:

  • Sadie T. M. Alexander – 1st President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., 1st Black Woman to earn a PhD in Economics.
  • H. Elsie Austin – 1st African-American Assistant Attorney General in Ohio.
  • Unita Z. Blackwell – 1st Black Woman elected Mayor of any Mississippi city.
  • Gwendolyn E. Boyd – 1st Black Woman to earn a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University.
  • Carol Moseley Braun – 1st Black Woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • Hazel Johnson Brown – 1st Black Woman to achieve the rank of General in the U.S. Army.
  • Alexa Canady – 1st Black Woman to enter the field of neurosurgery.
  • Shirley Chisholm – 1st Black Woman to serve in the U.S. Congress.
  • Erica Dunlap – Miss America (2004), 1st ever Black Miss Florida.
  • Jocelyn Elders – 1st Black U.S. Surgeon General.
  • Frankie Muse Freeman – 1st Black Woman appointed to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
  • Patricia Roberts Harris – 1st Black Woman appointed as Secretary to a U.S. Presidential Cabinet; 1st Black Woman named Ambassador to a Foreign Nation.
  • Barbara Jordan – 1st African-American to serve in the U.S. Congress from the South since reconstruction.
  • Anna Johnson Julian – 1st African-American awarded a Phi Beta Kappa key at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
  • Carrie Meek – 1st Black Woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida.
  • Vivian Osborne Marsh – 1st African-American to christen a Navy cargo ship.
  • Vashti Murphy McKenzie – 1st Woman to rise to the rank of Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • Wilma Rudolph – 1st American Woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympiad.
  • Niara Sudarkasa – 1st Woman to ascend to the Presidency of Lincoln University, America’s oldest black college.
  • Geraldine Pittman Woods – 1st African-American to serve on a the National Advisory General Medical Services Council.
  • and the list goes on, and on, and on

Listed above are just a sampling of the myriad of accomplished Sisters who help mold the legacy that makes Delta such a powerful force, one to be reckoned with, and much much more than a sorority.

And you thought you were first?