Hello and happy Friday to everyone out there. March is National Woman’s History Month and since I am a woman, I wanted to take some time to take a look at some women who affected history.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett – I’m sure many of you have read my little ditties about Ms. Ida. In fact, my contribution to the HerStory anthology was a fictionalized version of what might have happened on the day that Mrs. Wells-Barnett was barred from marching with her Illinois delegation because the National American Woman Suffrage Association didn’t want to offend the “delicate” sensibilities of the Southern ladies. Despite the name “woman” in the association title, these Southern flowers threatened to pull out of the march if blacks marched alongside whites. She hid out until the Illinois delegation passed, then joined in.
Nannie Helen Burroughs – Black educator and suffrage supporter. She established industrial schools throughout the South where Black women could learn such skills as bookkeeping, sewing, home economics and typing. The goal of these schools was to give these women a skill that they could later use to become self-sufficient wage earners. Her motto? “We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible”.
Mary Church Terrell – Her father is referred to as the first black millionaire by multiple sources. Mary majored in the classics at Oberlin College and was elected to two of the college’s literary societies. She earned her master’s degree from Oberlin as well. She was the first president of the National Association of Colored Women and founded the National Association of University Women, which focused on educational initiatives for blacks. Interestingly enough, she and Ida B. Wells-Barnett were the only two black women invited to attend the first organizational meeting of the NAACP. Mrs. Church Terrell was also very active in the women’s suffrage movement.
I don’t claim that these are the only women that should be recognized during Women’s History Month. I chose these women because not only are they inspiring to me, they also either overcame extraordinary circumstances, worked under duress or used their privilege to better others.
I hope you will take a look at some of the women that inspired you. Post them in the comments!