Girl Power is at an all-time high, and while our ladies are getting in formation, let’s bring some historical moments to end a great Women’s History Month. Here’s a rundown of girl power historical moments every little diva should know about:
Madam C. J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove was the daughter of two slaves. Orphaned at the age of 7, at 10, a servant and was married by 14. An unfortunate circumstance also became her claim to fame. After developing a scalp disease, she developed a recipe to fix her hair issues, marketed it and immediately became successful! She developed a complete line of hair products and became the first black millionaire businesswoman. This was unheard of at this time, especially for a woman.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a politician and economist hailing from Liberia. She studied at Harvard University then went on to first become the Assistant Finance Minister, then the Finance Minister in her home country. In 2005 she became the first female elected president of an African State. In 2011, she along with other notable women received the Nobel Peace Prize for their commitment to equality amongst males and females. During her tenure, she became a global icon as she was committed to empowering women and fighting against corruption and poverty.
While she is not the first woman in science, she is one of prominence, discovering the elements radium and polonium. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903 and the first person to win a second Nobel Prize in 1911 in both the fields of Physics and Chemistry. Her discoveries led to the development, after her death, of x-rays. Her academic life involved her being the top student in her secondary school, going on to attend a “floating university” which was a series of underground classes because she could not attend a men-only college. Finally, in 1981, she enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris, and while striving academically, suffered financially, which led to her deteriorating health at times. In 1893 she earned her Masters in Physics and another mathematics degree in 1894. Throughout her illustrious career, she sat amongst some of the most famous physicists including Albert Einstein and attended the first Solvay Congress in Physics. Her love for science also led to her demise as she was known to carry around test tubes of radium in her lab coat.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the very first woman to receive a medical degree from an American Medical School. Similar to her “sister in science” Marie Curie, she faced the hurdles of having to attend an all-male institution and limited finances. With her degree, she and her (real) blood sister opened the doors in 1856 to the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. She also opened a medical college in1857. This allowed women access to training and much-needed experience. They also concentrated on medical care especially for the poor.
Malala is a Pakistani humanitarian and activist. Her family ran a chain of schools in her region where Malala developed her love and passion for education. During this time female education was banned and Malala being a blogger and very outspoken, started to gain more and more publicity when she rallied out against this. Not widely tolerated or accepted by the Taliban, and when intimidation tactics to try to silence her didn’t work, she became a target. She is probably most famously known for surviving what should have killed her. On the afternoon of October 9, 2012, this was nearly a fatal day. A gunman attempted to assassinate Malala by shooting her in her head while riding on a school bus alongside other children, BUT she survived. Malala has gone on to start a foundation, co-author an international best selling book and is the subject of a project documenting her life. Amongst the many accolades she has, she is the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, receiving this at the age of 17.
If you’ve ever heard the name “Pocket Rocket” spoken, we know you can only be talking about one woman, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The 5 foot tall Olympic Sprinter came from out of nowhere at the 2008 Olympic Games, when at the age of 21 she became the first Caribbean woman and the first Jamaican woman in history to win 100m Gold at the games. Shelly-Ann went on to successfully defend her title becoming the third woman to win two consecutive 100m events at the Olympics. Her extensive resume speaks for itself, and she has been referred to as the greatest female sprinter of all time. Shelly-Ann has dominated the track since bursting onto the scene. She is not only a phenomenal athlete and the recipient of countless awards internationally as well as locally, but also a devout Christian, Wife, Business owner, Student, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Foundation creator.
BEAUTY, BRAINS & CLASS
We finish this list with one of the most beloved women in the world. None other than our SHE-RO, and first lady, Michelle Obama. We’ve affectionately coined her “Auntie Michelle,” and we say this with the utmost respect. Mrs. Obama made history along with her husband the first African-American President on January 20, 2004, when she entered the White House. For the next eight years, she went on to sashay and slay through these walls and beyond. She started the “Let’s Move Campaign” which focused on childhood obesity and fitness. She inadvertently became a fashion icon, and role model and who young girls, men and women alike, adored. Not only does she embody class and grace she’s also intelligent. Before her entering the White House, she was a lawyer and forever be seen as the end of an era.
Written by: Joyanne Lawrence, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic
IG & Twitter: iam_joii
Blog: I WRITE STUFF (www.facebook.com/mymindincolor)