By Maceo Keeling –
The National Women’s Month has roots in International Women’s Day, marked by the United Nations in 1975 and observed in smaller ways all the way back to 1911.
It is fitting and timely that we look at the contributions of women, more specifically black women, since the birth of our nation.
It is unfortunate that the story of the black women behind NASA and the space program took over 50 years to tell in the movie, Hidden Figures. While the untold “her-story” was slow in coming to public view, the film about the incredible contributions of the women behind the space race was well worth the wait. Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were three brilliant African American women who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning NASA achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the space race, and galvanized the world.
The irrefutable contributions of black women today are seen across every aspect of our life though we usually wait for someone else to acknowledge their greatness. We must affirm each other as we move in this nation.
Viola Davis in her acceptance speech spoke of “imposters’ syndrome”: when a person does something great and is acknowledged by others, but “has a sense of guilt because they believe that the acknowledgement is excessive or unmerited. This belief leads to fear that they may be exposed as a fraud, a charlatan or an imposter.”
But they—Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson—were not imposters. Nor are other black women who accomplish so much. Our women are extraordinary, rare and precious jewels of the planet. Many scientists tell us that the black woman is the original mother of humanity coming out of Africa.
I am very proud of my six sisters and my mother, and I wholeheartedly support National Women’s History Month for the tremendous contributions our women have made. It is also very important to remember, acknowledge, and thank the women who are not in the spotlight. Thank the women who go about their day with poise and grace and work long into the night for their families.
Thank the Women’s Board at our respective churches. Thank the women who nurse us when we are sick, care for our children, who teach in our schools and churches. Thank the women who prepare our meals and serve them with a smile. Thank the women who fight the good fight and advocate on our behalf. Thank the women who in their wisdom and loving kindness soften the hard tyrannical hearts of an oppressor.
Finally, thank the women who brought us into the world, because the world would be dismal without them. Let’s remember our women this month and do a little something to make them know they are not imposters: they earned the title of phenomenal woman!
Dr. King had a dream, now we must have vision. The Conscious Call radio program airs every Monday at 11:30 a.m. on WRES-FM 100.7. In a collaboration with the radio program, the Urban News will help keep readers informed about events, programs, news, and the progress of The Conscious Call. For more information, contact the Conscious Call at (828) 989-6999 and visit www.theconsciouscall.com.
The opinions and statements made in this column are solely the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of The Urban News.