Happy Women’s History Month. 2020 has been filled with a series of trials and tribulations and the strength of women has been evident in ways large and small. Many people are relying on the teachings of their mothers and grandmothers to assist them as they navigate this complex world. Others are remembering the tools of their female teachers as a guide to navigating their lives. And many Americans are witnessing female elected leaders show level-headedness and extreme competence holding their colleagues accountable to the American public.
I am so thankful for the foundation my mom, Gloria Greer, has set for my sister and me. As we face uncertain times in this world, I am armed with a sense of confidence and calm in the midst of uncertainty. For many (if not most) this is quite a frightening time. There is uncertainty surrounding all facets of our lives: political, economic, public health, personal health, emotional health, and so much more. It is now more important than ever to dig deep and remember the teachings of all of the brilliant women in our lives.
During these times I think of the incredibly strong women in my life and throughout history who inspire me and give me the strength I need to carry on as I try to contribute to society. My mother and grandmother have instilled in me a spiritual foundation that has served me well, especially these past few weeks. I am inspired by my sister Dr. Florencia Polite who serves the public tirelessly and selflessly. There are so many doctors who spend time away from their own families, sacrifice so many parts of their social lives, and decrease their amount of sleep and rest in order to serve others.
I am also inspired by women like Elinor Tatum, the publisher of this great paper, who continues to bring news stories that don’t always make it to the mainstream, but nevertheless are so important to our community. Women like Stacey Abrams and Kamala Harris also inspire me. As Black women, they have put themselves out there and run for executive offices despite the history of our nation and the inequities exhibited toward Black women especially.
I know March is almost over, but we can still celebrate the women in our lives who have given us the tools to navigate this complicated world. We can also lift up women on whose shoulders we continue to stand. Great leaders like Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Richardson, and Charlene Mitchell or brilliant writers like Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Rita Dove, and Maya Angelou. It is my sincere hope that we can remember the great women of the past, celebrate the women in our lives today, and do the best we can to inspire future generations of girls.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, political editor at The Grio, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.