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Black History

Black History and Women's History

Since 1881, Spelman College has educated women who change the world. Not just once a month, the College continues to celebrate this mission 365 days of the year. Below are some highlights of our historical women.

Blanche Armwood, C'06

After graduating from Spelman Seminary in 1906, Blanche Armwood went on to become the first Black woman in the state of Florida to graduate from an accredited law school. Read her story.

Dr. Georgia Dwelle, HS'00

When she entered Meharry Medical College in 1900, Georgia Dwelle became the first Spelman graduate to attend medical school. In 1920 she established the Dwelle Infirmary, Georgia's first general hospital for African-Americans and its first obstetrical hospital for African-American women. Read her story.

Maj. Gen. Marcelite J. Harris, C'64

In 1991, Harris became the first African-American female to obtain the rank of general in the United States Air Force. Read her story.

La'Shanda Holmes, C'2007

The first African-American woman ever to fly helicopters for the U.S. Coast Guard. Read her story.


Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, C'64

Johnson is the Louisiana Supreme Court's 25th chief justice, the second female chief justice and the first African-American chief justice. Read her story.


Dr. Audrey Manley, C'55

In 1988, Dr. Manley became the first Black woman to achieve the rank of Assistant Surgeon General. In 1997, Manley became the first alumna president of Spelman College. Read her story.

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