The top-ranking African American woman in government was Mary McLeod Bethune, the director of the Division of Negro Affairs in the National Youth Administration.
A leading educator and organizer within the black community, she brought together a group of mostly male African American government officials, known as the black cabinet, to promote policies benefiting African Americans.
She also organized a strong coalition of black women’s groups, called the National Council of Negro Women, to fight for both civil rights and women’s rights.
Crystal Bird Fauset became the first African American woman elected to a state legislature, in Pennsylvania in 1938.
Mary McLeod Bethune was a major African American leader and helped organize an unofficial “black cabinet” to advise the president.
Jane Bolin was appointed the first African American woman judge, in New York City in 1939.