Since the inception of the United States of America, African-American women have been dehumanized and demoralized. During slavery, African-American women were subjected to sexual relations with their masters; they were the primary caretaker of their masters’ home and slaved in a cotton or tobacco field.Black women slaved all day for their masters either in their home or in their fields and then returned to their quarters to complete similar tasks. Black women played an integral role in the development of this great nation.
After all, how would America’s economy survive without the help of the Black woman? Would there have been a strong workforce? Who would have managed households for free? Where would America be without its crown jewel, the Black woman? Our women endured the tests of time.
Harriet Tubman, a slave known for her work with the Underground Railroad, which ultimately led hundreds of African Americans to freedom, is a prime example.
Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator and civil rights leader, was appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt to advise his administration. This appointment made her one of a few African Americans to serve in this capacity and among an even a smaller number of women to serve in this position.
Perhaps she is most notable for founding Bethune-Cookman University.
Mary Church Terrell, the daughter of two former slaves, was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree. Terrell, an activist for civil rights and woman’s suffrage, led several organizations, including the National Associations of Colored Women’s Club, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National American Women Suffrage Association.
Carol Moseley Braun is an attorney and politician. Braun gained renown by becoming the first African American women to be elected to the United States Senate. Michelle Obama, the great woman behind her man, became the first African-American first lady when Barack Obama was elected president.
In her own right, she is Ivy League educated and served as an associate dean for the University of Chicago. She also served in several capacities with the University of Chicago hospitals. Mrs. Obama has proved to be a promising role model that any girl can look up to.
African-American women endured the trials and tribulations of slavery, women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement and are currently combating the negative labels that our society and media place upon them daily.
Our women have not only been the fabric of the United States of America, but they have also been the needle and the thread. They persevered when the odds were strongly against them and defied those odds over and over again and have done so with grace, style and class.
African-American women have held the weight of this great nation since its birth and have done so with no complaints. She realized her situation, and she has done what she needed to do to make it through and to make sure that the sisters after her would not have to face the same battles.
Our beautiful Black women have a strong, rich and enduring history. It is up to this generation of men and women to uphold and respect this history. Women, stay true to who you are, where you come from and where you are going. Remember to expect nothing but the best because the best is what you deserve.
You are Beautiful, Talented, Intelligent, Wealthy, Precious and our Future.
Brian Abrams is a political science major who attends Louisiana Tech from Shreveport.