February is Black History Month – a time for recognizing the achievements, and central role, of African Americans in U.S. history. Many other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history. Join the ORGANO™ Global Family as we highlight the contributions of a few of the many dynamic and inspiring African American women – whose pioneering efforts have changed the course of history. There are some women on this list you may recognize immediately – and others you may not – in no particular order, here are a few Historically Heroic Black Women:
Harriet Tubman: Harriet was born into slavery and found a means of escape with the help of her abolitionist neighbors. In 1849, she formulated a plan to free her remaining family members by way of an elaborate secret network of safe houses organized for that purpose. Harriet ultimately led hundreds to freedom in the North as the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, and inspired many generations to come in the fight for their civil rights.
Maya Angelou: Before she was celebrated for her poems and autobiographical texts like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, Maya was a nightclub singer and dancer who toured Europe. Maya Angelou became one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. With over 50 honorary doctorate degrees Dr. Maya Angelou became a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King.
Oprah Winfrey: Oprah, once the protégée of Maya Angelou, is one of the richest and most powerful people in America. Her vast influence on the women in this country is remarkable, and a testament to the strength and kindness of her character. She uses her resources and celebrity to enact positive change in communities worldwide. Oprah’s work fostering literacy through her book club, and the girls academy she built in Africa, remains legendary.
Mae Jemison: Mae Carol Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. After she left NASA, she founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence (which sponsors science camps for kids). Currently, she is a professor at Cornell University and heavily involved in the science community.
Zora Neale Hurston: Zora was a boisterous writer who was part of the Harlem Renaissance, a social and cultural movement that explored the experiences of black people in America during the 1920s. She used her background in anthropology at Barnard College to write short stories and essays about African American folklore. Her most famous novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was published in 1937.
Shirley Chisholm: In 1968, Shirley became the first black Congresswoman and in 1972, she became the first black woman to contend for the presidential office. She used her time in Congress and on the campaign trail to voice her opinions on women’s and civil rights, giving a public voice to many of the grassroots campaigns she was involved in prior to her election.
Rosa Parks: This list wouldn’t be complete without including famed civil rights activist Rosa Parks, the woman who refused to surrender her seat on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama 1955 – which led to a nationwide effort to end segregation of public facilities. Her courageous act fueled the Civil Rights Movement and ultimately inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. to get involved.
For those who believe dreams are impossible or that society can’t be changed by one person’s efforts, need only look to these women as role models. Their bravery and determination acted as catalysts for profound change in the world, and each had only one thing in common – the belief that she could make it happen! Yes they could, and with ORGANO™ … You Can Too! #TasteTheGold