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18 Black Women Breaking Boundaries In The 21st Century

The sky's the limit.

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4. Vonetta Flowers

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Not only was Flowers the first of her family to attend college, she was also the University of Alabama at Birmingham's first seven-time All-American. Her athletic skills would eventually lead to a gold medal in bobsledding at the Winter Olympics in 2002, making her the first black woman to earn one.


6. Serena Williams

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Serena Williams is the only female player to have won over $60 million in prize money and also has numerous wins and titles under her belt. In 2002 took the number one spot from her sister and became the first black woman to hold the year-end No. 1 rank in tennis.


9. Cheryl Boone Issacs

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While diversity in Hollywood remains a big problem, progress is slowly being made. In 2013, Isaacs was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making her the third woman and first African-American to hold the position.


16. Sheila C. Johnson

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Co-founder of BET, the first black woman to have stakes in three professional sports teams, and vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Johnson became the first female billionaire in 2001, along with her then-husband Robert Johnson. She may no longer be a billionaire, but she is still ranked the seventh-richest African-American in the U.S. and is second only to Oprah among black women.