Today is the final day of Women’s History Month, and it provides us with an opportunity to, as Maya Angelou once said “recognize and celebrate our she-roes.”
“Our History is Our Strength” served as the theme for this year’s month-long celebration that acknowledges and recognizes the amazing accomplishments of women in all facets of life, according to the National Women’s History Project, the leading organization and resource for women’s history.
But as we celebrate the accomplishments of women from yesterday and today, we must also take time to celebrate the women of tomorrow — our young Black girls.
Black women are negatively portrayed in the media. Loud, uneducated, with no sense of purpose or direction are stereotypes that our girls face on a daily basis, in addition to the typical pressures of growing up.
These images have a deep impact on a girl’s self-esteem and self-image. How can we negate these stereotypes and provide a positive image for our girls? One way to help change their self-perception is by becoming more involved with organizations that primarily serves young girls.
For example, Girls Inc., is a national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold; Black Girls Rock! Inc., which seeks to build the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves; and Afro Puffs and Ponytails, an organization that teaches African American young girls and teen girls the importance of taking care of the mind, body, and spirit.
On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. If the most powerful man in the free world can recognize the importance of the issues facing women and girls, and take action to change them, then it should be second nature for us as women.
Give back and make a difference in a young girl’s life because her story today, will define the strength of our Black women tomorrow.
Trameika Vaxter is the President of PeRfect Plan Public Relations, a public relations firm based in Frisco, Texas, that specializes in the female consumer market.