African American Women Leaders: Condoleezza Rice

               Condoleezza Rice is a well-known African American female leader, a US politician and diplomat. She is the first African American females to become the US Secretary of State and the second African-American Secretary of State after Colin Powell. She is also the 2nd female Secretary of State after Madeleine Albright. She is also the first African American female National Security Advisor. Condoleezza Rice has certainly made a remarkable political career and demonstrated herself as a prominent African American women leader (Berry, 2016). The paper explores Condoleezza Rice’s biography, legacy and contribution to demonstrate that African American women, despite all odds could become prominent leaders in the USA.

Condoleezza Rice was born in Birmingham, AL, and grew up in a racially segregated South. Despite segregation and oppression, Condoleezza Rice, studied hard, and managed to get her bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver and subsequently her master’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame. Condoleezza Rice  realized that education was the only opportunity for black females to become someone in the USA (Stinson , 2016). After all, as a black female she faced twice as much pressure because she was black and because she was a female. Only after she got her PhD from the University of Denver, she realized that she could effectively compete for top positions previously unavailable to black women. Condoleezza Rice  worked for the State Department during the Carter administration and simultaneously studied at Stanford University where she served as provost in the late 90s. Condoleezza Rice  was instrumental during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Reunification of Germany because she served in the National Security Council during the Bush administration (Harrison , 2017).

Finally, for her outstanding work and service Condoleezza Rice was the first African American female to appear in Time 100, the famous list of the world’s 100 most influential people, according to Time magazine. The list includes only those people whose influence has been enduring enough for the decades to come. Condoleezza Rice argued that racial discrimination and segregation that she faced since her childhood taught her determination and perseverance. She realized that she had to be twice as good as the whites in order to be noticed and recognized (Stinson , 2016). Condoleezza Rice was an ardent support of the right to bear arms arguing that if her father hadn’t had his guns, their family would have been defenseless against Ku Klux Klan and other racists in her home town (Harrison , 2017).


Berry , D. (2016). A Black Women’s History of the United States. Prentice Hall, pp. 136-139.

Harrison , V. (2017). Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. Wiley and sons press, pp. 168-172.

Stinson , T. (2016). 100 Things Every Black Girl Should Know: For Girls 10-100. McGraw Hill, pp. 120-121.

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