Gwendolyn Brooks, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, have been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, joining four other living honorees.

Granted membership posthumously on Tuesday were Willa Cather, who was the first author to create strong, autonomous heroines in American literature, and Ida Wells Barnett, a journalist and lecturer who swayed public opinion on racial equality and women's rights. Brooks, who won the prize for her poetry in 1950, said the honor was like "lightning that hits you when you're not expecting to be hit."The 20-year-old National Women's Hall of Fame is located in Seneca Falls, N.Y., where the first women's rights' convention was held 140 years ago.

It has 42 members, six of them living. Besides Brooks and Ride, they are actress Helen Hayes, former U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, soprano Marian Anderson and scientist Barbara McClintock.