THE BACKBONE OF OUR NATION
Honoring Women of Character, Courage and Commitment
Mar 28, 2017
By Jonathan Powell
March is a time for people across the country to reflect on women’s outstanding contributions to society.
Women’s History Month is devoted to remembering the contributions of both notable and ordinary women in hopes that the day soon will come when it’s impossible to learn history without including them.
Their achievements are integral to the fabric our history. Learning about women’s tenacity, courage and creativity over the centuries is a tremendous source of strength for all of us, regardless of gender
Women have led labor movements and run successful businesses. They have spoken out against oppression, fought for human and civil rights and brought about positive change. They have used a variety of methods to break barriers against equal pay for equal work, and to promote equality throughout society.
But sadly, women have always been underrepresented in the annals of history. Even though they are the majority of our population, they are frequently treated like a minority.
Like African American history, women’s history has always been overlooked and undervalued. Women’s achievements were often distorted, disdained or denied. But knowing their success stories provides essential role models for everyone
Even today, we continue to learn about the contributions and strengths of some extraordinary women.
Three of them are brilliant African American women who helped make it possible to send American astronauts into space, but never received credit or recognition for doing so until almost 55 years later.
The movie Hidden Figures introduced us to Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who worked for NASA. They provided the mathematical, engineering, computer, aerospace and administrative expertise behind one of the greatest operations in American history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
Even with the discrimination and limitations imposed on them, women of all colors, creeds and cultures have made significant contributions in the world, laying the groundwork for the women who would follow in their footsteps.
Women’s history isn’t just for women. It’s for everyone to be inspired by a gender that has often been invisible in the eyes on men in America, but has always been the backbone of this great nation.
Below is a list of trailblazing women who have made little-known or underappreciated contributions and left an indelible imprint on history.
Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965)
First African American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award
Judith A. Resnik (1949-1986).
American engineer and a NASA astronaut
Lillian Smith (1897-1966)
Writer and social critic
Gladys Tantaquidgeon (1899-2005)
Mohegan medicine woman, anthropologist and tribal elder
Delilah L. Beasley (1867-1934)
Historian and newspaper columnist
Get to know these women – you may be as surprised and impressed as I was.