First African American : Oprah Winfrey
There's no question that Oprah Winfrey is a pioneer in the entertainment industry and an important figure in Black history who keeps breaking new grounds in a very positive way. Oprah wears many hat : she's a talk show host, an author, a model, an actress, a producer, a CEO, a philanthropist and more. Despite her difficult beginning, as a child born in poverty to a single teenage mom, she defiantly found a way to pull herself out of her traumatic environment and went on to become one of the wealthiest, most loved and recognized celebrities in the world.
Oprah is known for her very popular show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated program of its kind. She completely change the television industry and help countless people around the world deal with their own issues, traumas, prejudices, growths, pains and joys. She's written five books to date, and published O, The Oprah Magazine, which I believe to be the first of its kind as well. She also has a radio channel, Oprah Radio and a very popular website fill with a lot of valuable content for its viewers. It's no surprise that she became the first African American billionaire and is considered to be one of the most powerful and influential woman according to organizations such as CNN, TIME, Life, USA Today, Ladies Home Journal, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, etc.
Oprah is also quite the philanthropist: As of 2012, she was reported to have given away $400 million dollars to educational causes, as well as 400 scholarships, countless prizes on her show and a vacation in Hawaii for her employees and families (1065 people). She is the first African American to join the list of top 50 most generous Americans.
Oprah continues work on making the world a better place and raise the bar when it comes to the possible accomplishments of not only African Americans but every individual around the world, no matter what their circumstance may be.