Skip to content

Black Women on the Rise: From Wall Street to the White House

Women reign with beauty and pain, forever working to improve and gain. They lend their prominence, to buoy a race and promote cultural eminence. They are the sustainers and the value added in humanity. When one looks at the mothers of the world, we see the caregiver, the nurturer as she emerges from girlhood, we know that the light in her eyes tells the stories and the experiences of her gender. She is enlightened. We know that even in the way she dresses each day, she is illustrating the lessons of those who showed her the way. Her blessings are anatomical as well as intellectual, persuasive and effectual. She lives ethically and walks gently, as she listens and loves intensely.

We hail from a place where there is a woman like Soledad O’Brien pushing forward the agenda of a multiplicity of races. We watch as they watch her with amazement in their faces. She addresses the issues that so many have tried to hide and erase, the issues she rushes to embrace. There was no dignity in how they treated people of color, as they put the dogs on them and dragged them by their collars. Soledad has heard the mother’s cry, as she labors in the hopes that she can do more than just get by. And she is hit by the reality that she faces every day. That mother has a vision for her children, that eludes them and then includes them. She has a need to express the story that only she can say, as she kneels and bows her head to pray. This is when she lays down her burdens and her armor too, and places her crown atop her head.

Yes, Soledad recognizes that she has many sisters in this fight, that know what they do is right. As I stand in the photo here with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who in stature appears to be small, she stands head and shoulders above the rest — strong and tall. She has chosen to be a civil servant, to listen as her constituents complain and vent. She sympathizes and bears their cause, as she takes her legislative seat to enact more just laws. She fights for change that will ease their suffering and remove their pain, and continues to press for economic gain. She works to eradicate homelessness and joblessness and the futility of the political game. These are the issues that pervade the present and the futures of so many, regardless of who is to blame.

Here it is that we are we aware every single day, of a congresswoman, a mother a teacher, whose plight is to continue to pave the road for us to proclaim, this is a world of possibilities for women to claim. When these women sing their prophetic songs, from Mahalia to Beyoncé and Erykah too, they are joined by women and sisters in and out of the pew. Their prayers and dreams elevate our living, and their stature supports our being.

And then there are those who are still breaking ground every day, being the first like Donna Brazile to lead the Democratic Party in a special way. Their are those “firsts” for the women who will explore space, “firsts” for those women who break through the corporate doors, and “firsts” for those women who advance the race. They set the standard for young sisters and girls in braids, to pursue academics and make the grade.

Each time we know that there is more to be said, to ensure that our children and their children aren’t crippled by the misogyny of the verses in a song. That they are protected from the indignities of disrespect and being treated wrong. There is so much to fight, so much to do. And women have to find that safe place inside, where they can bury the shame and the tears they’ve cried.

They are the stars and the light and the breaths we take. They see more and know more than they will ever tell. They are the women who choose to keep their loved ones under a protective spell. They are the women who will fight and go with you through hell. So here we go once again, hoping that others will understand how to lift up the woman and show her how much we appreciate her in a special way. Love them, respect them and honor them with all that’s in you.

From Wall Street to the Pacific, and around the world, remember her face, appreciate her grace and hold her in high a esteem and a special place.

Munson Steed