Black Women Are Phenomenal
Much has gone unspoken so often, because Black women have been taught not to share their stories and accomplishments. This month we celebrate the history of phenomenal Black Women and their impact on American growth and culture and the world. Let’s praise the splendor, innovation, intelligence, tenacity, and absolute magic and mystique that Black women possess. As we explore the historical roles and contributions, we recognize the growth and success of Black women has for generations fundamentally improved America. As part of America continues to fight to hold on to its old ways, each generation of Black women perseveres in extraordinary and notable ways. Each generation continues to do better than the one before by building upon a paved path of historical accomplishments of those who came before them.
Maya Angelou wrote:
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Source: Angelou, M. (1994). Phenomenal woman: Four poems celebrating women. New York: Random House.
The positive impact Black women are making in America grows daily. A few recent first African American females, trailblazers such as a billionaire business brand, First Lady, Vice President, and now a Supreme Court Justice confirmation. You know these Black women by their accomplishments, they have become household names. Oprah, Michelle, Kamala, and now Ketanji have been prepared because of trailblazers like Harriet Tubman (freedom fighter), Ida B. Wells (civil rights journalist and educator), Madame CJ Walker (entrepreneur and philanthropist), and Jane Bollan (Judge). Or what about Shirley Chisolm, the first elected to Congress and run for President of The United States, or Carol Moseley Braun the first African American woman to serve in the Senate.
As we think about social activists, athletes, performing artists, authors, politicians, or poets, a Black woman will almost always come to mind because collectively Black women continue to raise the bar. During each period, the hard work and effort of women like Fannie Lou Hammer (social activist), Earlene Brown (athlete), Hattie McDaniel (actress), Ma Rainey (singer), Phyllis Wheatley (poet), and many other black females were always setting new trends. Those women passed the torch to Black women like Dorothy Height (politician), Nina Simone (performing artist), Angela Davis (social activist), Maya Angelou (poet and author), and Cynthia Cooper (athlete). Each period we as Black women manage to grow beyond measure standing proud and free to voice our accomplishments and those of others who look like us.
A few you might not know that we encourage you to learn about:
Aja Monet, the NAACP Literary Award Poet, co-founder of Smoke Screen Signal Studios who uses poetry to expand social movement issues.
Shantrelle P. Lewis, author of “Our Mother’s Garden” is her directorial debut that focuses on the intricacies of maternal lineages. She is also an international curator and researcher.
Queen Afua, New York Times best-selling author, “Sacred Woman: A Guide To Healing the Feminine Body, Mind and Spirit”. She is also a holistic practitioner and wellness coach.
Some Black women, The BWHM want to, especially highlight:
Regina King, actress and director. She is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and four Primetime Emmy Awards. We appreciate her recent filming in Cincinnati of her biopic role of Shirley Chisolm.
Jada Pickett Smith, actress and talk show host who publicly embraced her hair loss due to medical issues resulting in Alopecia. So many Black women are sensitive about their hair loss which is prevalent.
Iranetta Wright, the newly appointed 28th Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools. We appreciate her willingness to serve nearly 36,000 students in Cincinnati, the largest public school system in Southwest Ohio.
Alicia Reese, the Hamilton County Commissioner, has been a 20-year public servant who made history as the first woman and African American to win city, state, and county races in Hamilton County. We really appreciate her part in bringing the Black Music Walk of Fame to Cincinnati
Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Vice Mayor of the City of Cincinnati. We are so thankful for her hard work serving as a bridge for all of Cincinnati. She works in the community to ensure that all voices are heard as we move forward in the community. We see her passion and perseverance through her daily words, actions, and deeds.
Renee Mahaffey Harris, President and CEO of Closing the Health Gap and the Black Women’s Health Movement. She continues to advocate for the marginalized populations in Greater Cincinnati and the region. We are especially proud of her efforts to recognize and respond to efforts that eliminate racial and ethnical health disparities. You will understand how beneficial Renee is to the community by attending the 18th Annual Health Expo this month. This is just one example of her ability to creatively improve the lives of others in multiple communities throughout Ohio.
To our mothers, sisters, daughters, teachers, leaders, and other Black women, You are important and what you do is noticed and appreciated. Our endless talent to create and transform ideas into actions is necessary to fight for the justice we deserve which is only part of our talent. As Black women, we continue to focus on efforts that impact the social-economic status, environmental conditions, and unfair practices that affect people all around the world. As we advocate for more sustainable solutions that meet the unlimited and unwarranted health and economic challenges we continue to face, recognizing part of our collective growth must include development and participation in more research for us and about us. Creating inclusive environments to save us is a must.
The black women’s health moment team is looking forward to celebrating the important work that black women have done and are doing for our community “day in and day out”. As African American women, we are responsible to prepare the next generation. Trust and believe the next generation is watching you and need you to keep the torch lit and ready to pass forward. Don’t forget to bring height and attention at home, work, and in the community for the accomplishments of Black women with appreciation. To All Black women who continue to shine a light by acting and doing your thing positively, we thank you, appreciate you and We Love You! But most of all never forget your work today is the beacon of light for the future. And to All Those Black Women, that should have been revered and honored but were not We Speak Loud and Clearly Today, Because of You!