CELEBRATING THE AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN
By Felicia Simpson
This article was first posted on www.feliciatsimpson.com
Since the beginning of time, black women have helped to contribute to the growth and evolution of the world. Often minimized, our influence can’t be denied. From Dahomey warrior women who fought to defend their villages to abolitionists like Sojourner Truth who fought to defend their freedom; black women have demonstrated their ability to rise in the face of adversity.
Our talents are vast and can be seen in the literary works of Maya Angelou and her predecessors Phillis Wheatley and Lucy Terry, two women who were sold into slavery, acquired freedom and became notable writers. Our artistic abilities are apparent as evidenced by the masterpieces of our foremothers, Edmonia Lewis and Elizabeth Catlett, who were both accomplished sculptors.
In the fields of social and political activism, we proudly claim Angela Davis and Shirley Chisholm. Even though we are a force to be reckoned with, we stand not only as fighters but as healers. Marie Laveau and Queen Nanny, African Spiritual leaders, sought to enlighten their people as did Henriette Delille, a Catholic who opened her heart to anyone who needed a helping hand. We can’t minimize the strides we’ve made in the world of science with Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, or Katherine Johnson, physicist, and mathematician. Nor can we ignore the pioneering performing artists such as Dorothy Dandridge, first black woman nominated for an academy award for best actress, and Nina Simone, an illustrious singer, composer, and trailblazer.
In addition to the strides we’ve made in the areas mentioned above, we are nurturers, protectors, wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, and friends. Black women continue to make an impact not only within the black community but in the world at large.
Welcome to the month of September!!!! This year is moving by so fast. As we enter into the final month of the third quarter, I really want to focus on women so I reached out to my friend and this posts, Guest Contributor, Kenetha Lanee to provide us with that well written prelude above about African American women in particular, to kick off this month’s blog post.
I love being an inspiration to women of color and I am always inspired by the success stories of other women. Please take the time to read the histories of the women mentioned in the prelude, if you don’t already know HERstory. I am on a journey to becoming a better woman and creating safe spaces, for sisterhood in our society on my all of my platforms.
African American women have struggled and triumphed since forever, and there is no one better on this planet, than a strong African American woman! The African American woman is tenacious, fearless, beautiful, compassionate, purposed-driven, stable, confident, nurturer and this list could go on. From the pioneering women who created our history for us to the modern day trailblazers that we see today, African American women, are to be celebrated year-round. So many of us are creating our own paths, demanding equality from social and political injustices and stepping out from the shadows of other cultures and becoming the queens that we were born to be.
As a middle aged African American woman who is still growing and developing, I encourage each of you to carry on the legacies of the women in the prelude and the ones who you interact with every day in your life. Let’s continue to lift each other up and share more success stories about how we have overcome whatever obstacles, and survived whatever struggles to become the positive images that we see all around us today.