1. It's a sure bet you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
But maybe you're not aware of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader who was jailed repeatedly for his association with social disturbances and his open homosexuality.
2. You probably know that Maya Angelou was the first African American woman to write a non-fiction best seller.
But perhaps you don't know that Phillis Wheatley was the first published African American female author. She was a servant who published her first poem at the age of 12 in the mid 1700s.
3. Surely you know that Halle Berry was the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Monster's Ball.
But it's possible you don't know that Dorothy Dandridge was the first African American woman nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for her lead role in Carmen Jones.
4. If you're really smart, you already knew that George Washington Carver made several agricultural advances and used the peanut to create over 100 new products.
Another African American responsible for scientific advances you may not have learned about is Henrietta Lacks.
5. Okay, so you know Aretha Franklin and her iconic, powerhouse voice.
What you may not know is that she was not only the first African American woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she was the first woman. Period.
6. Everyone knows that Oprah has built an amazing empire.
But not many people know about Madam C.J. Walker. She was the first self-made female millionaire.
7. It's possible you know that Benjamin Banneker was a self-taught astronomer credited as the first African American scientist.
8. You're super smart, right? Right. So you know that W.E.B. Du Bois was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
But did you know Ben Carson was the first surgeon to separate twins conjoined at the head?
9. There's a good chance you know that Thurgood Marshall was the first African American appointed to the Supreme Court.
But did you know that before that he played a pivotal role in the Brown v Board of Education case?
10. You might know that Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie were the first African Americans to win GRAMMY Awards.
They each won in the same year, 1959.