In Women’s Leadership
EDITED BY: MARY K. TRIGG AND ALISON R. BERNSTEIN
Just as Coretta Scott King and Jean Childs Young (the wife of pastor/activist Andrew Young) were the true catalysts in the civil-rights movement, so were the women in this book in their passionate attempts to uproot and awaken the status quo regarding social movement. This portrayal of the dedication and perseverance of these women is inspirational, to say the least. Additional treasures uncovered in these essays are the depictions of several of their respective mothers as being instrumental in providing the basis for their powerful stance for cause. As it has been said, we truly do lead by example. Many of these extraordinary women will be known to you, others not so much, but one common thread prevails: When empowered and driven, a woman can be a force to be reckoned with and is almost unstoppable when social injustice is involved!
Daisy Bates, Wangari Maathal, Audre Lorde, Cecile Richards are a few of the women that you will come to know in this book, making one burst with pride in learning of their astonishing deeds. Audre Lorde, poet warrior, feminist, lesbian, mother demonstrated her power through words. She argued that intellect cannot be separated from feelings when in Poetry Is Not a Luxury she wrote: “The white fathers told us: I think, therefore I am. The Black mother within us—the poet—whispers in our dreams: I feel, therefore I can be free.” She struggled to bring what she considered to be the essence of the feminist story to light until her death. Daisy Bates, an NAACP activist, went to great lengths to integrate schools in the south and was pivotal in the Little Rock Nine case involving students who were slated to be the first African Americans to enter an all-white school in Arkansas. She did so with the risk of personal injury lurking about most of the time. Wangari Maathal mobilized African women in her cause for environmental democracy; Cecile Richards has been hailed for her work in leading Planned Parenthood into the new century. Again, their strategies, pursuits, resolutions raised the bar for activism bringing forth exclamations proclaiming an aura of dignity, character, strength and stature for all.
Spotlight on Women has become an important program for FRWRC because it highlights unsung heroes in our community. This book indicates that we are, in fact, on the high ground as it, too,
strives to spotlight extraordinary women. Whether it be on a national level or in small neighborhoods, we must continue to make it known that women are never to be underestimated when it comes to a challenge or social injustice. The youth of today must be made aware of the broad shoulders upon which they stand, never to take that which has been given for granted. Acknowledgment of these junctions should be considered a privilege and an honor.