Updated: Jul 22
By Simone Thyke
Even though Mother’s Day is celebrated in May, most people are unaware that March 1st through the 31st is National Women’s History Month. As an African American Woman, it is only fitting that I drop some Jewels on you about this especially important commemoration for those who sacrificed so that we (women) could benefit from the fruits of their labor.
Women’s History Month was declared a National Celebration in 1981 by Congress. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” It was not until 1995, that Women’s History received recognition for the entire month, after a plethora of requests and resolutions by presidents. As a result of over 13 years of proclamations, March is dedicated to celebrating the contributions women have made to the United States and their achievements over the course of American History in a variety of fields. https://www.whitehouse.gov/kbj/
I do not know if this is great timing or what, but in 2022, President Biden nominated Kentanji Brown Jackson as the first African American Woman to the Supreme Court. After Vice President Kamala Harris made history as the first African American and Asian Female elected to such a high office; it is amazing that President Biden decided to diversify the Supreme Courts with this well-respected candidate.
Born in Washington, D.C. but raised in Miami, Florida, Judge Jackson was destined to be successful, based on her rich upbringing. Daughter to parents who attended HBCU Colleges and Universities, both started their careers as educators and transitioned into administration. Jackson traced her love for law because when she was in preschool, her father attended law school. They frequently completed their homework together which set the stage for love and respect for the law. Jackson was a high achiever throughout her childhood and was a debate star. She was elected mayor of Palmetto Junior High School and student body president in senior high school. Despite her accomplishment and scholarly background, she still experienced systematic racism in high school. In fact, when she shared her desire to attend Harvard University, the counselor discouraged her by saying, “Don’t set your sights so high.” Needless to say, that comment did not derail her dreams and aspirations. Jackson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Presently, Judge Jackson is married and has two daughters. Her career highs include serving as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and Public Defender.
According to President Biden, Jackson was a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law. He also chose her based on her commitment to equal justice under the law and her understanding of the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions have on the lives of the American people. Judge Jackson is considered one of the nation’s brightest minds and her legal experience is barred none. And, considering the republican appointee Justice Coney Barrett, who extreme conservative view, Jackson is needed to add an African American female perspective. It is my hope that she will be successfully appointed to the vacant seat and make history as the first African American Female Justice.
If you would like to participate in the Women’s History Month celebrations, head over to womenshistorymonth.gov for more information.
Last, I would like to shed light on the bashing of Black Women, by Black men, publicly on social media. I am not sure why this is becoming an ongoing trend, but it is something that needs to stop immediately. Women of Color, especially Black women should be respected and celebrated for all the unheard-of things we have experienced for over four hundred years. It is bad enough that Black women are duplicated, disrespected, degraded, and treated as less than, by other nationalities, but now we must endure ridicule from our own. When our own men degrade us like that, they are setting the stage for others to believe that it is okay. It is my hope that Women’s History Month will be a time for upliftment and healing, for those who struggle with celebrating Black women for our strength, beauty, and resilience. Why not take the time to acknowledge and embrace the powerful woman, in your life, by giving her a token of your appreciation? Lord knows we all deserve it!