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Constance Baker Motley

1. Constance Baker Motley, civil rights activist, lawyer, judge, state senator, First Black Female Federal Judge, US Cabinent member.

In 1964, Motley became the first African American woman elected to the New York State Senate. In 1965, she was chosen Manhattan Borough President—the first woman in that position. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson named her a district judge for the United States District Court Southern District of New York, making her the first African American woman federal court judge.

In 1993, she was inducted into National Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal. The NAACP awarded her the Spingarn Medal, the organization’s highest honor, in 2003. Motley was a prominent honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

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