Because of Them…
This month’s posts have taken a different direction and are geared towards highlighting important issues during Women’s History Month. This week I decided to shine the spotlight on some wonderful women I know who are making history in their own right.
But none of this would be possible without the actions of the history makers who came before.
One of my earlier posts talked about the idea of #BlackGirlMagic and what it really means. But before there was feminism, #BlackGirlMagic or #BlackLivesMatter, or any other modern movement, there were some prominent faces that helped shape the future for women of color everywhere. These women go beyond the scope of what is taught in the regular curricula’s Black History Month coverage of Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks.
For example, did you know…
Anne Cole Lowe was the first African American to become a noted fashion designer whose one-of-a-kind designs were a favorite among high society matrons from the 1920s to the 1960s. Probably her most famous work was the gorgeous ivory silk tafetta wedding dress worn by Jacqueline Bouvier when she married Senator John F. Kennedy. The great granddaughter of a slave woman and an Alabama plantation owner, she went on to design for the likes of the Auchinclosses, The Rockefellers, the Lodges, the Du Ponts, the Posts and the Biddles, all members of the Social Register.
One of the world’s youngest and richest people was a little black girl?! She became the second black woman millionaire in the United States. Talk about #BlackGirlMagic.
Despite not having the rights as many of her male counterparts albeit they were all slaves, Biddy Mason was one of the brave women who fought or her right to freedom and went on to be great.
Even in education our women and girls defied the odds, and fought for their rights to learn like everyone else.
And even when called to duty in the most noble of callings women of color served with pride and humility, despite the limitations on their abilities.
I’m sure every little black girl has heard her name whispered in some context or another, especially when recalling the nightmarish event of having her hair straightened with a hot comb. p.s. she invented it.
Did you know, some of the most prolific voices of the African American community were actually female? Yes we’ve heard of the Langston Hughes’, W.E.B. Dubois’ and James Baldwins of their time, but let’s not forget the voices of female African American authors like Zora Neale Thurston, Phillis Wheatly, Frances Harper, and Alice Dunbar Nelson.
African American women were some of the most effective change makers and civil rights activists alongside the greats like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton and the sort.
They even demonstrated excellence in sports. Just take these gorgeous ladies for example.
In 1948, at the age of 25, Alice Coachman became the first African-American woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics. She paved the way for millions of black female athletes reaching for the gold.
Through perseverance the way has been paved for many of us young women to dare to dream big. Just take a look at Dr. Alexa Canady’s C.V.
Or the first lady’s…
They have even made strides in changing the way our beauty is defined and represented – especially in media and entertainment. You go Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington and you – Viola Davis!
If you still don’t believe in #BlackGirlMagic or whatever you may call it – remember, some of the very same freedoms and liberties you enjoy were fought for and earned by these women and their fellow history makers in order to allow girls that look like me, to be able to dream big.
Hugs and Sunshine,
Images from Google and UNWomen.org