As a Black woman in America, I feel perplexed. These are odd times we are living in right now.
Under the Obama administration, I felt strong and confident as a Black woman living in America. Nowadays, I still feel strong and confident in whom I am as a person; I simply don’t feel as secure living in this country.
Have we advanced so far as a country that it is acceptable to have a president who publicly admits to assaulting women with no shame? Or are we rewinding the clock to a time when it was publicly okay to kill Black men and women with no repercussions?
Either way I look at it, as a Black woman in America, I wonder what’s in store for our nation in the next four years? This is usually when my wanderlust kicks in.
I wonder if life would be better if I lived aboard again? I could be like James Baldwin, Nina Simone, and many other Black artists who moved to Europe for a better life. But is being an American in Paris any better right now?
Doesn’t number 45 know that Black women built this country? Maybe he does not realize it.
In honor of International Women’s Day, women are being urged today to show the world what a life without women would be like to raise awareness. They are calling the movement ‘A Day Without a Woman.’
Let’s take it a bit further. Let’s imagine a life without Black women in America for a moment. In particular, what if these 5 innovative Black women in America did not exist?
If it weren’t for Lyda, your hair would probably be a hot mess. In 1898, she invented the first synthetic hair brush. Think about brushing your hair with an animal hairbrush that was hard to clean? Gross!!
Ever heard of the HeLa cell, which is the oldest and one of the most important cell lines used for medical research? The Hela cells were essential in developing a polio vaccine, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization. They are also were sent in the first space missions to see what would happen to the cells in zero gravity.
This scientifically groundbreaking “immortal” cell was discovered when doctors secretly took and used tissue samples from Henrietta during a biopsy for cervical cancer in 1951. It would be years before they finally gave Henrietta credit. Sadly, she never knew because it was way after her death in 1951.
These two sisters were the Serena and Venus Williams of science. Neither had technical training, but they did have a thirst for discovering things. Thank goodness they did, because they invented the sanitary belt in 1956 and then three years later the sanitary belt with a moisture-proof napkin pocket. In addition, Kenner also invented the Walker and the toilet paper holder for the bathroom.
It is because of Alice Parker that many of us are feeling warm during the winter months. In 1919 she invented and patented the gas furnace as a way to heat up a house and regulate the temperature. I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely thankful for heat as you know us San Franciscans flip out when it gets below 40 degrees.
These 5 Black women, probably unknown to many, have made our lives better. So again, I ask you to visualize a life without Black women in America. Not so happy is it?