This past February I’ve enjoyed my social posts of unsung heroes in Black History. I liked it so much that for March I would like to do it again. This time sharing the lives of exceptional women in history.

As a woman of color, I get hit with the double whammy of glass ceilings and constantly being underestimated as well as misunderstood. Therefore, I’d like to share the words of a variety of women from different cultures which empower me to carry on.

We may be from different backgrounds but we are unity by our gender.  Missing that Y chromone means we face similar discriminations. From the sexual objectivation to double standards to being seen as weak (mentally and physically) to confusing outrage with being merely emotional, these are the excuses used to keep women seen as witnesses to history rather than a part of it.

Not to be known only as ‘behind every good man is a good woman’ scenario. But to let people know that the only thing behind a good woman is a strong backbone and the only thing in front of her is a man getting in her way of self-progress.

I hope, by sharing the quotes from these great ladies, they can remind all of us to have the courage to break the mold, to use our voices, and to keep going.

I’d like to start with a poem that had been running through my head today:


Wall, chilern,
whar dar is so much racket
dar must be somethin’ out o’ kilter.
I tink dat ‘twixt de nigger of de Souf
and de womin at de Norf,
all talkin’ ’bout rights,
de white men will be in a fix pretty soon.
But what’s all dis here talkin’ ’bout?

Dat man ober dar say
dat womin needs to be helped into carriages,
and lifted ober ditches,
and to hab de best place everywhar.
Nobody eber halps me into carriages,
or ober mudpuddles,
or gibs me any best place!
And ar’n’t I a woman?

Look at me!
Look at my arm!
I have ploughed,
and planted,
and gathered into barns,
and no man could head me!
And ar’n’t I a woman?

I could work as much
and eat as much as a man —
when I could get it —
and bear de lash as well!
And ar’n’t’ I a woman?

I have borne thirteen chilern,
and seen ’em mos’ all sold off to slavery,
and when I cried out with my mother’s grief,
none but Jesus heard me!
And ar’n’t I a woman?

Den dey talks ’bout dis ting in de head;
what dis dey call it?
(whispered someone near).
Dat’s it, honey.
What’s dat got to do wid womin’s rights
or nigger’s rights?
If my cup won’t hold but a pint,
and yourn holds a quart,
wouldn’t ye be mean
not to let me have my little half-measure full?

Den dat little man in black dar,
he say women can’t have as much rights as men,
’cause Christ wan’t a woman!
Whar did your Christ come from?
Whar did your Christ come from?
From God and a woman!
Man had nothin’ to do wid Him.

If de fust woman God ever made
was strong enough to turn de world upside down
all alone,
dese women togedder ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!
And now dey is asking to do it,
de men better let ’em.

Bleeged to ye for hearin’ on me,
and now ole Sojourner
han’t got nothin’ more to say.’

by Sojourner Truth


aint i a woman book

Interested in reading more enpowering poetry. Check out Ain’t I a Woman! A Book of Women’s Poetry from Around the World Edited by Illona Linthwaite


What women inspire you?

Are there any you wish people would talk more about?

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