Let us celebrate, empower, and honor women by telling our stories. To watch the theme song video, Click “One Woman” song to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8th) – YouTube
The month of March is celebrated annually as Women’s Month. It is born out of the contribution of women throughout history to the rich culture, history, and society in the United States of America. This celebration started in 1987 after it was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. The celebration of women first started as a week-long celebration in California, and over the years, this has grown to involve the entire world.
Black women played a pivotal role in Women’s Month with their contribution through their stance on human rights, advocating for voting rights, storytelling, writing poetry and books, acting, and inventing. Some were even deprived of their inventions and had to watch while others robbed them of this given the right. Yet, many started and developed successful businesses, broke barriers into careers that women were not allowed to pursue, and entered into the political arena to ensure that Black people have representation on matters affecting them.
Black women excel in sports, music, arts, and theatre, reaching great heights. The United Nations, over the years, has adopted and put forth themes and activities to commemorate the month by using different themes each year. This year’s theme is Recognizing women through storytelling.
Here are some Black women who made strides to bring women to the forefront:
- Harriet Tubman pioneered the passage of black people from the South out of slavery to freedom by way of the Underground Railroad.
- Sojourner Truth advocated for the abolition of slavery and also preached on the evils of slavery and petitioned for formerly enslaved people to be given land so they could support themselves.
- Georgia Douglas Johnson gave a voice to poetry and, through her poems, outlined the courage and devotion of the Black mother shielding her children from the suffering and pain of racism in America.
- Rosa Parks, during the Civil Rights Movement, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a White person and move to the back of the bus when Blacks were not allowed to sit in the front of the bus, thereby sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott and resulting in changes in the law.
- Shirley Chisholm, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, was the first black woman elected to the House of Representatives to serve the people in New York in Congress after serving as an assemblywoman in New York.
- Barbara Jordan was elected to the State office in Texas to represent Black people.
These brave Black women helped to build the women’s movement in the United States and helped to give voice to other Black women in other parts of the world, such as the Caribbean, and by doing so, raised awareness of women’s issues around the world.
Today a more significant majority of these Black women have taken their rightful place in America and worldwide. We are grateful to have these women in our midst. One such person is our present Vice President, Kamala Harris, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. There is also the first Black woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, Katanji Brown Jackson. Women around the world are also holding similar offices and positions of importance. One such leader in the Caribbean is Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados.
No matter where they are in the world, women are still in the fight, agents of change in making the world a better place for those who come after. As women of God, let us make our voices heard and support the efforts by celebrating the women who have done their part in the past and engaging in women’s suffrage currently for a brighter future for the women of tomorrow.
To watch “Black Women Firsts & Trailblazers,” Click Black Excellist: Black Women Firsts & Trailblazers – YouTube
To watch “10 Black Women Inventors,” Click Black Excellist: 10 Black Women Inventors – YouTube
To Watch “Celebrating Black Women Every Day,” Click Celebrating Black Women Every Day | Women’s History Month – YouTube