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Another Women_s History Month gone

18th March 2011   ·   0 Comments

Another Women’s History Month gone



By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. Columnist



Just like Black History Month, another Women’s History Month has come and gone. The problem with having a month dedicated to who we are is that we, Black women, are virtually forgotten by much of society the rest of the year.


I watch television, listen to the radio, read newspapers and magazines, and I look real hard in the mainstream media to find us. Unless I am watching, listening to or reading Black-oriented programs or articles, I rarely see or hear the story of the Black woman being told truthfully and fully.  Even there, it’s a little tough sometimes.  No matter how talented, how articulate (There’s that word!), hard-working, kind or caring we are, too often we are not shown in our best light. Gangsta’ rappers don’t seem to know anything about us!  Sometimes I have to wonder who their mothers, sisters, grandmothers, spouses or significant others are because they don’t seem to make an exception for them as they denigrate all Black women.


The other day I was talking with Lonette McKee, an extraordinary actress who happens to be Black, and she said that like me, she has pretty much had it with waiting for Black women to gain the recognition and respect they deserve.  I am, therefore sending out a plea to all sisters everywhere to say, “Let’s not wait for another Women’s History Month to recognize and show some love for one another.”  We know who we are, where we have been, and most of us know where we are going.  Let us thank the brothers who understand who we are and be grateful for that.  Let us not worry about the ones who have lost their way and think the grass is greener on the other side.


Let us begin to tell our own story – even if just to one another.  We don’t have to be validated by others.  We can validate ourselves by being the best we can, by serving our communities in the best way we can, by keeping a smile on our faces, holding our heads up high, knowing that we are special.  God gave us the endurance to handle everything that comes our way.


Don’t shy away from the word strong. It simply means strength, and God knows we have that.  How could we have come through slavery, lynching, segregation, so much humiliation and degradation and still be among the best-educated, hardest-working, while keeping our families intact if we were not strong?


I asked a brother what he thinks of the Black woman. He said, “I see the Black woman as a source of light that beams, showing the way to a better life for our people wherever they are, no matter what is happening in our community”.


I asked another brother, who said, “The most important entities in our community are the Black woman and the Black Church.”  Who do we most often find in the Black Church? Voila! The Black woman!


I wanted to go on asking more brothers what they think about the Black woman, but it is more important what we think about ourselves. Let us choose to be mentors to our younger sisters.  Let us not allow them to grow up thinking less of themselves because they don’t see themselves in beauty magazines often or because their intellect is not recognized often enough. Let us be proud of our sisters like Donna Brazile, Professor Melissa Harris Perry, Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Ambassador Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett,  First Lady Michelle Obama and others.  Let us cheer them on, celebrate them and appreciate their telling their stories, because their story is our story, too.



Dr. E. Faye Williams is Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, and Chair of the Board of the Black Leadership Forum.

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