The sky’s the limit.
In 2000, Foster, who grew up in the segregated South, became the first black woman to be nominated for vice president by a Federal Election Commision-recognized and federally funded party.
Scott Nelson / Getty Images
Simmons, formerly the president of Smith College, became the first black woman to head an Ivy League university when she became the 18th president of Brown in 2001. She resigned in 2012.
Kris Connor / Getty Images
In 2001, Rice became the first black woman to serve as the U.S. national security adviser. She then became the first black woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state in 2005.
Rob Kim / Getty Images
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.
Bryan Bedder / Getty Images