Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander was the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States, the first Black woman student to graduate with a law degree from Penn Law School, and the first African-American woman to practice law in Pennsylvania.
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander broke barriers throughout her life. Born at the end of the 19th century, she was the first Black American to get a Ph.D. in economics, and was the second Black woman to earn a Ph.D., receiving hers just a day after the first. In addition, Alexander was the first Black woman to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s law school and to be admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. She used her skills to fight for civil rights for Black Americans and served on President Harry Truman‘s Committee on Civil Rights. She was also appointed to the White House Conference on Aging by President Jimmy Carter.
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