“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Sunday, March 7, 2010

International Women's Day; Thank One Today!

You go about your day, making coffee, taking your shower, getting your children off to school, and then you leave for errands, or a beauty shop appointment or a day of tennis. This is just an ordinary day, like so many others. Did you call your mother lately and thank her for bringing you into this world? Probably not, any more than you thought the family on the news whose house burned down and the Red Cross took care of them.

Have you thought about your child who is in a gang because they feel they cannot get out of the bad part of town? Have you watched them dress slovenly, calling it style, have you seen the money they flash while you work your fingers to the bone to keep a roof over their heads? Have you heard the gun shots’ ringing out at night, knowing another victim was taken from their families?

Have you ever stopped and really thought about the freedom you have to worship as you choose to speak your mind, to stand in protest united for a cause?

Today is the day for thanks. Today is the day you know who gave you the freedoms, the rights you enjoy, today is the day you look around you at the women who are in your lives now and who made your life possible even back before your mother was born. Today is the day you stop taking for granted everything you have, today is the day you say I do not need a gang to make me whole, today is the day you stand up and take yourself away from the projects, the poverty, the misery. Do not say you cannot; do not say no one understands because you are wrong. Today is International Women’s Day and if these wonderful loving brave women could do the things they did, then yes, you can!

Does the name Clara Barton mean anything to you? I hope you learn her name for she is the founder of the Red Cross. You know Annie Sullivan, I am sure, just as you know who Helen Keller was. Look what she gave this young girl.  She gave her a life of quality and Helen went on to greatness herself.

Ida B. Wells was born in 1862 in Mississippi and when her parents died of Fellow Fever, she took a job as a teacher to support her younger siblings.  In spite of the hardships in her life, she was able to complete her studies at Rust College and in 1888 became a teacher in Memphis, Tennessee. She became editor and co-owner of a local black newspaper called “The Free Speech and Headlight” and wrote editorials under her pen name ”Iola” When  a respected black store owner and friend was lynched in 1892, she used her paper to attack the evils of lynching. While attending an editor’s convention in New York, she received word if she returned to Memphis her life would be in danger. She took her cause to England to gain support and earned a reputation as a fiery orator and courageous leader of her people. Returning to the U.S., she formed the Women’s Era Club, the 1st civic organization for African American women. She never forgot her crusade against lynching and published “A Red Record” which recorded lynching in America. In 1909 she was asked to be a member of the “Committee of 40”, establishing the organization known as the NAACP!

Alice Paul made sure women were given the vote, Mrs. George Peake was the first African- American settler of Cleveland, and the list goes on and on.

Please do not think that the women who were lauded for their work are the only women of stature. There are mothers all over the world who sacrifice for their children and families, who face rape, torture and death just for water, which goes without that their children will have, your mother did the same for you. Make these brave beautiful souls proud. Prove that what they did and are doing was and is worth it.

I speak from the heart, today is International Women’s Day. Look around you, there are women of importance in your life. Do not make these women’s fight for nothing. Pick up the torch they each carried and show the women in your life that you will carry the torch for you part of the run.

3 comments:

A. @ A Changing Life said...

This is a really great post. Thank you. It's good to see you back - remember you too are important. :)

ettarose said...

A. I am trying very hard to bring myself back to life. I miss you very much. This is a start for me.

tikno said...

As "A" said: "you too are important." (your voice within this blog)

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