To All The African-American Women of the Past, Present, and Future…

By Abrahim Harb

I have been daydreaming about history again.

Later that night, I found a pen and paper –
At first, I go off memory, but quickly expand to web research.

To Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Angela Davis, and Marsha P. Johnson…
For teaching us that we are not powerless in the face of uncertain political landscape –

To Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Dr. Christine Darden…
For teaching us about patience and understanding our value because hidden figures are eventually revealed –

To Madame C.J. Walker and Oprah Winfrey…
For teaching us about being an entrepreneur with integrity and respect –

To Michelle Obama…
For teaching us that being your best self means taking care of yourself –

To Coretta Scott King…
For teaching us about keeping a movement alive by carrying on for Martin Luther King Jr. –

To Maya Angelou, Ida B. Wells, Zora Neale Hurston, Shonda Rhimes, and Janet Mock…
For teaching us how to write our stories, the stories of our ancestors, and storytelling in general –

To Shirley Chisholm…
For teaching us about perseverance while being a catalyst of change –

To Simon Biles…
For teaching us about creating boundaries and sticking to them –

To Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Megan The Stallion…
For teaching us about holding our own in a space where we are the minority and to to do it with confidence –

To Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Diana Ross…
To Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, and Janelle Monáe…
To Hattie McDaniel, Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, and Diahann Carroll…
To Cicely Tyson, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, and Regina King…
For teaching us how to mine our experiences and emotions to harvest them into meaningful art –

To Moms Mabley, LaWanda Page, and Marsha Warfield…
To Wanda Sykes, Mo’Nique, and Whoopi…
To Maya Rudolph, Tiffany Haddish, and Issa Rae…
For teaching us laughter is really the best medicine, whether it was a belly laugh, a cackle, giggle or nervous laugh –

To the chefs - and vets - and activists - and educators - and stay at home parents - and hidden figures - and IT professionals - and graphic designers - and entrepreneurs - and assistants - and medical professionals - and storytellers - and agriculturists - and anthropologists - and performers - and masonry workers - and mental health professionals - and musicians - and to all the creative types - and behind the scenes production staff - and to all the others I could not mention; you are not forgotten - my notepad has 2 pages left and I will wake the house if I go rummaging for more paper at this hour –

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