This Women’s History Month: To My Girls, The Sky is the Limit
[African American schoolgirls with teacher, learning to cook on a wood stove in classroom - Photo from Library of Congress ]
A few weeks ago I went to visit the school of my two youngest for a brief play. While I was waiting for the play to start I had the pleasure of sitting by two little ladies. These two fellow second grade classmates of my son somehow started chanting girls rule and boys drool. I, being the adult, should have stopped them. But I didn’t…I joined in. I just couldn’t help myself. Perhaps because I was looking into the face of two sweet, intelligent little Black girls and I wanted to seize the moment in encouraging them that the sky’s the limit. As once upon a time this wasn’t the case. My grandma was a maid. My mama worked part time as a maid until she finished college. My grandma and mama were like so many Black women before them who had to choose between maid and teacher as a career…two whole options. Yes, the two options then were most definitely better than the options African American women had previously. Still two options do not convey the sense that the sky’s the limit. African American women definitely have more options than maid and teacher today, but the sky still seems a little out of reach, to say the least. [Selected data on chart] [Full data here] Will my two daughters feel like they have to choose out of such female dominated professions today like teaching and nursing? I certainly hope not. I hope they believe in themselves enough to know that they can set their sights on whatever…and whatever includes a lawyer, doctor (MD or PhD) or entrepreneur – even if there have not been a lot of women who have already trail blazed a path to the career they desire. This Women’s History month my girls will learn about phenomenal women. But most importantly I hope they learn about all of the phenomenal opportunities available to them as well. Way more than two whole options!
Does your daughter have her sights on trailblazing a path into a certain career?