Women of Influence


At the Women’s Convention of 1851 Sojourner Truth gave her famous speech “Ain’t I A Woman”
At one point, reminding those that said women were not equal to men because Christ wasn’t a woman, that Christ had indeed been birthed through a woman by God without the help of man
Having seen her own children sold she said she was pleading for her people, the mothers who gaze in wild despair upon the auction block and see their children there
We come from generations of women whose greatness predates history
For Harriet Tubman
Refusing to push nor pull another mule
After being “chattl’d” from one hand to the next while disabled by seizures, hypersomnia, and migraine headaches
Temporal lobe epilepsy
Proclaiming, “there is only two things I have right to, liberty or death, so if I could not have one I would have the other”
We come from a line of trailblazers
Rebecca Lee Crumpler the first African American female doctor and the only African American female to ever graduate from New England Female Medical College
She said she early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others
Understanding the greatest reward is the opportunity to help one another
Women like Ida B. Wells who documented the use of lynching in the United States to punish, control, and retaliate against black people
Ida B. Wells who on May 4, 1884 in Memphis, TN, well before the Civil Rights Movement refused to give up her seat on a train
It took 3 men to drag her off and then she successfully sued the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company
A line of greats like
Ella Baker
Mary McLeod Bethune
Bessie Coleman
Susan B. Anthony
Madame C.J. Walker
Ruby Dee
Shirley Chisholm
Zora Neale Hurston who in her own words, had been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots
Audre Lorde who famously stated, -those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older — know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.
It is at this time that I must remind you we are resilient and powerful
Like Marian Anderson, once denied permission to sing at a Daughter’s of the American Revolution hall, so she performed outside to a crowd of more than 75,000 and a radio audience in the millions
For 8-year-old Marguerite Annie Johnson realizing the power of words can speak life or bring death so she intentionally spent the rest of her life using them wisely
For every grandmother on bent knee praying over generations
For every mother that’s sacrificed without regret to pour into her family
For every woman who this touches
You are beautiful
You are loved
You are important woman of influence

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