Do we really have to ask this question? Black Girls Rock because we are Fearfully and Wonderfully made! “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
Wait a minute, aren’t all of God’s children fearfully and wonderfully made? Why Yes, however, I must say, black women have endured and overcome so much throughout history. We all know that blacks in general had to face horrific trials and obstacles in America, being dragged, beaten, tortured, raped, and ripped from their families.
According to some of Wikipedia’s definition of the treatment of slaves in the United States, “Slaves were punished by whipping, shackling, beating, mutilation, branding and/or imprisonment. Punishment was most often meted out in response to disobedience or perceived infractions, but masters or overseers sometimes abused slaves to assert dominance. Pregnancy was not a barrier to punishment; methods were devised to administer lashings without harming the baby. Slave masters would dig a hole big enough for the woman’s stomach to lie in and proceed with the lashings.”
Even while carrying a child, many times, the child of a slave owner that had raped and impregnated her, these women had to endure and be strong, Over time this strength, mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally was passed down from generation to generation. Not to make light of what men had to endure, but right now I’m speaking about women and how black girls rock.
There are so many black women in history that have paved the way for black women today and even now black girls are rocking more than ever. You don’t have to take my word for it, just take a look at some of the accomplishments black women have achieved each year from 2001.
- Ruth Simmons, formerly the president of Smith College, became the first black woman to head an Ivy League university when she became the 18th president of Brown in 2001.
- At the Winter Olympics in 2002, Vonetta Flowers was the first black woman to win a gold medal in bobsledding.
- In 2003, Serena Williams became the first African-American to win a Career Grand Slam in tennis.
- In 2004, Phylicia Rashad made Broadway history when she became the first black woman to win a Tony for Best Actress in a play for her role in Raisin In The Sun.
- Condoleezza Rice became the first black woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state in 2005.
- In 2006, Sophia Danenberg became the first African-American to reach the peak of Mount Everest.
- Barbara Hillary, a retired nurse and lung cancer survivor who was raised in Harlem, became the first black woman to reach the North Pole at the age of 75 in 2007.
- First African-American woman elected Speaker of a state House of Representatives in California Rep. Karen Bass in 2008
- In 2009, Michelle Obama became the first African-American First Lady of The United States of America.
- Democrat Terri Sewell became the first black woman to be elected to the U.S. House from Alabama in 2010.
- Angella Reid served as the White House Chief Usher from October 2011, in the Obama Administration, until her dismissal in May 2017 from the Trump Administration. She was the first woman to hold this position.
- In 2012, Ava DuVernay won the Best Director award at the Sundance Film Festival for her drama ‘Middle Of Nowhere— making her the first black woman to take home the honor.
- Rosa Parks was honored as the first African-American woman with a statue of her likeness on D.C’s Capitol Hill in 2013.
- In 2014, Paulette Brown became the first black woman elected to lead the 400,000-member American Bar Association, which, until 1943, did not allow African-Americans to join.
- Loretta Lynch became the first African-American woman Attorney General of the United States in 2015.
- African-American women made Olympic history in the 2016 Summer Olympics by winning gold in gymnastics, swimming, and shot put. Simone Biles scored her third gold medal when she became the first American to win the Olympic vault individual, Simone Manuel became the first African-American female swimmer to win an Olympic medal in an individual event and Michelle Carter became the first African-American woman to win a gold in shot put.
- Now, in 2017 Stacey Abrams, an American politician who is currently the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District aims to be the nation’s first female African-American governor.
Just as these black girls rock, so do you!!! These are just a few encouraging and motivating facts to keep you pushing forward. They did it and so can you. We all can! We have to keep believing in ourselves, looking at what our ancestors, family members, peers, friends, associates, and role models have accomplished and know that if He did it for them, He can and will do it for us. This is why Black Girls Rock!
For more about a black girl who rocked, check out an earlier post…
Equal Justice: The Courage of Ada Sipuel