Violette N. Anderson was one of the most notable African American women lawyers of her time. The daughter of an interracial couple, Anderson was born in England and moved with her family to America at an early age.
In 1905 Anderson began a court reporting business, and became the first African American member of the Chicago Court Reporters Federation. Her interest turned to practicing law, and in 1920 she received her law degree from the Chicago College of Law. She was the second African American woman to pass the Illinois state bar exam.
From the battered woman to the prostitute, Anderson frequently utilized her legal expertise to assist the most marginalized women. In 1922 she successfully defended a woman in a murder case, and would go on to serve as the first female Assistant City Prosecutor in Chicago. In 1926 the she became the first African American woman admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Anderson was an active member of the Zeta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in Chicago, and Grand Basileus of the sorority, from 1933-1937. Violette Anderson Day is celebrated on April 15th in her honor. #FINERWOMEN #WOMENSHISTORYMONTH #HERSTORY
If you’ve ever thought that Madam CJ Walker was the first black woman millionaire, think again. The first black woman to become a millionaire was actually a former employer and mentor of Madam Walker, Annie Turnbo Malone.
Malone was a St. Louis business woman, inventor and philanthropist. She established the first educational facility dedicated to black cosmetology, Poro College. Poro College was home to the National Negro Business League, Lincoln University’s Law School and the Chicago branch of the college would house the nation’s first black aviation school. Malone was well-known for her philanthropy. She gave generously to black colleges such as Howard University and Tuskegee Institute, and financially supported students at several black colleges around the country. Within her company she was known to give gifts to employees who invested in real estate or helped their parents to do so, and gave 5-year employees diamond rings.
Annie Turnbo Malone became an honorary member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in the mid-1920s. #FINERWOMEN #WHM #HERSTORY