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African American History and Women Timeline 1980-1989

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Angela Davis ran for Vice President on the Communist Party ticket.  She became Professor of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, a position she held until 1984.

Janie L. Mines graduated from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis. She was the first African American woman admitted to the Naval Academy.

The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara was published, winning the American Book Award.

 The novel features the civil rights, feminist and peace movements.

Tennis player Venus Williams born on June 17 in Lynwood, California.

The musical Dreamgirls opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theater on December 20.  It was later nominated for Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  In 2006 it was the basis of a motion picture.  The story follows a trio of women R&B singers in their achievement of success and celebrity.

Arnette R. Hubbard became the National Bar Association’s first woman president.  The National Bar Association is the oldest national association of African American lawyers and judges.

Singer Beyonce Knowles (Destiny’s Child in the 1990s, then soloist) was born on September 4 in Houston, Texas. Tennis player Serena Williams was born on September 26 in Saganaw, Michigan.

Musician Mary Lou Williams, a jazz pianist, vocalist and composer, died on May 28.  She recorded more than 100 records and wrote music for key bandleaders including Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

Pamela McAlliser Johnson became publisher of the Ithaca Journal, making her the first African American woman to hold that position with a major newspaper.

Alice Walkers The Color Purple was published.  The novel focuses on the lives of African American women in rural Georgia in the 1930s.

The Color Purple won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, making Alice Walker the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Vanessa Williams became first African American selected as Miss America.

Angela Davis ran for Vice President on the Communist Party ticket for the second time.  

Leontine T.

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