Alexis Herman
This outspoken U.S. Secretary of Labor was born in Mobile, Arkansas in 1948.

How She Broke the Glass Ceiling: Sworn into her seat on May 9, 1997 as the 23rd Secretary of Labor, Alexis M. Herman was the first African-American to ever be nominated for the position and the fourth woman to be appointed in 84 years. Herman, dubbed the "Queen of Smooth," did not have such a pleasant time getting confirmed. Congressional Republicans and labor unions initially opposed her nomination. Herman's longtime relationship with the Clinton Administration as Director of Liaisons, and her frequent appearances at the now infamous White House Coffees sparked controversy. Nevertheless, Herman eventually won over their hearts in the summer of 1997 when she was praised by her peers for handling the UPS Strike situation with such expedition.

"Mrs. Herman is a real example of what women of color can achieve despite the odds against them." - Denise Wallace, Performance Artist

Thirteen Ed Online | Students' Take