What if my story was different?
What if I told you that at the age of 5 my parents died in a shoot out,
Leaving my siblings and I with no way out,
What if I told you the reason this eye hangs lower than this one is because I was knockout,
Eyeball was nearly pulled out,
By some girls who I used to hangout with,
Now what if I told you that at the age of 13, I was raped by my uncle who I was living with,
He said this was my form of payment, it was this or I could just jump off a cliff,
I pleaded the fifth,
Now what if I told you that I made all this up, it was a lie or a myth
Would my story still be appealing to the minds of people like you or Mr. Smith?
Did I have to almost die, or look pleasing to the eye, for me to qualify to your standards?
Malcolm x described a black women situation the best,
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.
The most unprotected person in America is the black woman.
The most neglected person in America is the black woman.
Well the nation’s first black lady was this black woman,”
And unfortunately the one to have been plagiarized was this black woman,
My name is Michelle LaVaughn Robinson- Obama,
I knew since I was a youngin I didn’t want to be another baby mama,
Turned away from Chicago’s Southside drama
Education was my Priority, I was Harvard and Princeton bound, then I decided to settle down to become Mrs. Michelle Obama,
I was a lawyer, a Chicago city administrator, community-outreach worker.
But if you don’t want to write me down in your history book, it’s ok, just give me a pen and ill make my own mark.
I was inspired to write this piece and share it because I believe that Michelle Obama is a legend in the works. I've heard many say that she isn't important to black history, but I completely disagree.
The Legendary Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald was a legendary Jazz singer. She collaborated with Louis Armstrong, one of my favorite Jazz singers, and she was the first African American woman to win a Grammy. Fitzgerald has won a total of 14 Grammys and sold more than 40 million albums. Coming from a troubled childhood, she struggled financially and worked from a young age in order to support her family. She wanted to go into the entertainment industry from a young age (like myself) to become a dancer, although her life was difficult as she struggled with school (like myself) and was on and off of the streets. However, she still strived to be in the entertainment industry and joined a singing contest that she won. Later, she met Chick Webb and joined his band, soon becoming a well-known singer that would perform at a popular club in Harlem, called the Savoy.
Fitzgerald inspires me because she’s had to overcome various difficulties and tragedies (such as her mother’s death), yet she didn’t stray from her dreams. She refused to let doubt and worries cloud her vision, as she pursued what would genuinely make her happy. Ella Fitzgerald has taught me that regardless of the troubling situation I am in, you can always rise from it with ambition and a strong drive and become even more than what you've imagined.
Yanow, Scott. "Ella Fitzgerald." Biography. 30 Dec 2016. Web. 17 Feb 2017.
Michelle Obama Inspires All
The United States’ former first African American lady, Michelle Obama, is remarkable. Michelle Obama is a lawyer and writer who attended Harvard Law School and Princeton University. In 2007, Barack Obama became the first African American president in which she became the first African American First lady. Since then she has made significant changes for the better. I idolize Michelle Obama for her extraordinary work in being a role model for women.
Michelle Obama is an inspiring role model for women. She has suggested and given so much advice to girls about feeling comfortable and happy in their own skin. This inspires and other girls that we should feel happy about ourselves and not to care so much about others` opinions. Additionally, she helps shape the mindsets of other minority girls to think that she went to Harvard and is a first lady. It makes these girls think that they can look up to her and end those statistics and actually go to college, attain a career, and make differences in their life.
Michelle Obama is someone that gives back so much to others and has made so many positive changes to all communities. She is an astonishing African American woman who broke barriers and is an idol for so many others.
Infoplease. Info please. n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
A Woman That Defied Gravity
In 1958, Mary Winston Jackson was the first black female engineer at NASA. She graduated from the University of Virginia after getting permission from the City of Hampton court to attend an all white class for graduate level math and physics. What is inspiring about Jackson is her persistence to achieve a profession that would be more accessible to a white male during times of segregation and discrimination against African Americans. Her determination drove her to the highest engineering title at NASA and defied societal norms against male authority in the workplace. Her influence in the space program helped the US win the Space Race, a time period where Russia and the US were competing to transport a man into space from 1957 to 1975. The new, critically acclaimed film, Hidden Figures, captures the struggle and achievements of three African American women who work at NASA, including Mary Jackson. The film portrays them as strong and determined women who challenged ideals of segregation and female roles in history. In today’s society, young African American women, view Mary Jackson as an inspirational figure that defined the power of knowledge and diligence during times of social oppression.
As someone who finds interest in space and discovering more about our universe outside of Earth, Mary Jackson reminds me that anything is possible, even in an environment that feeds off of prejudice. Though NASA excluded racial injustice during the ascent of the Civil Rights movement, black women were still discriminated against and had fewer opportunities to achieve advanced roles in the workplace. Mary Jackson, through her hard work as an engineer, challenged this obstacle by shining her strength and feminine empowerment, which adds even more inspiration for individuals who aspire to break from preconceived standards set by society. Overall, I hope that people will appreciate Mary Jackson for her defying steps toward discovering more about space as well as realizing the importance of gender and racial equality.
Shetterly, Margot Lee. “Mary Jackson Biography”. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 2 Dec 2016. Web. 22 Feb 17
OWN it, Oprah!
Oprah Winfrey is an African American woman who has inspired many people today in society. She was the first black television host and the second billionaire. She has achieved so many things today that she is nationally recognized for her accomplishments. She has become one of the highest paid celebrities in the world. Oprah Winfrey was even added to the list of the 100 top most influential people in the world. Not only... is she inspiring because she is the first African American of many things, but also because she is a woman. Even in today’s society women struggle in every aspect.
As the first African American woman and self-made billionaire, Oprah Winfrey gives younger African American females hope that they can accomplish anything they may want to achieve in their future. As a young Hispanic female, she inspires me to continuously work for what I want to do in my future. On her show she has a segment where she talks about a book she has read to aid her viewers and relate to them. I am constantly surprised by the attention someone receives once they are put on her show. This power must be her biggest accomplishment as an African American woman. She has overcome so many struggles without any help and is known by the world for her selflessness and humbleness. These qualities are ones of a true hero.
Infoplease.Infoplease.Web. 22 Feb. 2017.