Highlighting African-American Women's Strengths, Leadership
By Donnice Bedney
The ladies of Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship Inc. recently presented the remarkable program "Black Woman-Dead or Alive" designed to highlight the qualities and unique characteristics of a strong black woman despite the challenges they face. Some may say that strong black women such as Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Rosa Parks don't exist anymore but the ladies of Swing Phi Swing set out to prove them wrong during the Feb. 18 program.
The presentation started with a brief speech by Nayonna Wright, and a slide show presentation revealing strong black women. A band of three students played soft music in the background, as the audience listened.
Guest speaker Brenda Noble, a Swing Phi Swing member since 1974 and a social studies teacher, spoke about the perception that the black woman's worth was becoming extinct. However, she argued that black women of today are in fact still alive and fighting for change. She said that African-American women are holding their own with increasing success in the corporate workplace and, in some instances, are out pacing black men. Women such as Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Elaine Jones, and Ruth Simmons are prime examples of the strong black women still existing. Noble went further to express that black women today need to help each grow instead of competing with one another.
Noble added that African-American women have come a long way and unity is key to further success. She went on to say that black women must remember who they are and where they want to be. She ended her discussion by concluding that black women are definitely still alive and will continue to thrive.
The presentation ended with a slide presentation of black men at Bowie State University who were asked why they appreciate black women. One professor said "he loves black women, black woman made him, he appreciates them." Another faculty member said "Black women are special people of great character with genuine concern and qualities."