It’s James again!
I’ve been up all night trying to figure out what to blog about and it just dawned on me…it’s Women’s History Month!
In no particular order, I would like to take this time to honor some of the superwomen who have had an impact in my life personally starting with…
1. Zora Neale Hurston
“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it”
Honestly, deciding to read my little brother’s discarded copy of her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. That book changed my life in ways I cannot express and now I CAN’T STOP RAVING ABOUT IT! I might have to give it another read soon. Actually, it’s one of my dreams to do a remake of the film version. Maybe someday. Here’s to you Ms. Hurston!
2. Eartha Kitt
“A man comes into my life and I have to compromise? You must think about that one again”
This radiant queen. I mean seriously, how could she not be on my list? She blessed us with one of the most iconic holiday songs of all time. With lyrics like “Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex and checks”, ‘Santa Baby’ is still a bop! It should also be noted that, Ms. Kitt survived being blacklisted by the government and was the first African-American actress to portray Catwoman on screen. This earns her a solid spot on my list of superwomen.
3. Maya Angelou
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”
When my best friend and I first heard of Ms. Angelou’s passing, we were devastated. I remember catching a glimpse of an interview she did with Oprah and just thinking to myself, “She’s so out of this world”. I read “Still I Rise” in my first semester here at Lehman College, and I’ve made it my goal to become more familiarized with Ms. Angelou’s work ever since. Here’s to you Ms. Angelou, a true superwoman.
4. Whoopi Goldberg
“An actress can only play a woman. I’m an actor, I can play anything”
Oh Whoopi, I really have no words to explain or express my admiration for this woman. From portraying characters like Celie in The Color Purple to Queen Constantina in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (One of the most iconic adaptations of Cinderella by the way), how can you not love her. I mean she’s an E.G.O.T winner for heaven’s sake. I think that says it all.
5. Janet Jackson
“No my first name ain’t baby. It’s Janet. Miss Jackson if you’re nasty”
I remember being seven years old when I first watched the music video for her single “Doesn’t Really Matter” and obsessing over how futuristic the music video was. My mother and I would sing that song all the time together. I also remember watching the music video for “The Pleasure Principle” and trying to imitate the choreography. I must confess, I almost had my black card revoked because I hadn’t yet watched Poetic Justice (I mean I’ve seen bits and pieces, just not the whole film). That’s how hard people go for Janet Jackson, because she is a star in her own right. That’s why she ranks on my list of superwomen.
6. Lauryn Hill
“We should always be aspiring to know more, and to better ourselves, and to improve ourselves. To improve ourselves, because that’s how we improve the world around us, by working within us”
Growing up in a Nigerian-American household, my father owned very few albums from Black-American artists. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was one of them. Up to this day, the interludes between the tracks on that album still provide me with wisdom during my day. Not to mention that “When It Hurts So Bad” is probably my favorite song on that album due to the fact that it helped me get over a MAJOR heartbreak. That album significantly changed my life, which is why Ms. Hill has secured a spot on my list of influential superwomen.
8. Tyra Banks
“Shine bright. Shine far. Don’t be shy. Be a star”
Yes, I know you all are judging me for this one but hear me out. This queen has maintained relevancy in an industry that is openly ageist against women. She has “given back” and created a platform for younger women to pursue their own dreams of becoming models. Almost all the seasons of ANTM (Up until the Rita Ora season and the season that they started to incorporate men onto the show *insert eye roll here*) are BINGEWORTHY. Love you, TyTy.
That wraps up my list of legendary superwomen.
Happy Women’s History Month!