I am sitting at the computer with a dollar next to the computer. I am remembering some of the things my mother taught me on this annual International Woman’s Day. Mama taught her children that if you got a dollar of your own, you are on your way. Mama always had a dollar and when Daddy died, I remember the presiding preacher owed Mama $7,000.
I have been a lawyer for over forty years, and I acknowledge that most of the lawyers I know are women. Most of the doctors and businesspeople I know are women. This is a momentous change from when I was a child when professional women were secretaries, beauticians, and teachers. The businesses they owned were coffee shops, house keepers, nanny’s, beauty shops, secretarial services, social workers, and answering services. I admit to knowing one who was an owner of a landscaping business.
Times have changed and women are no longer limited by their gender. They are now working in all types of businesses and corporations. Women have taken their place in the entertainment industry as directors, writers, managers, journalists, scouts, and technical workers. Many women have inherited their positions from deceased or disabled fathers and husbands or siblings.
Just as Black Americans have risen through the ranks, women have also risen to the top of their chosen professions. They are even serving as pastors in churches large and small where they were previously denied for no reason except, they are women. They could be in the choir or choir director, but never a pastor. Some churches are trying to maintain this tradition.
Education has evened the score. Any person can go to school, learn an occupation, and join the ranks of preacher, butcher, baker teacher, lawyer, medical doctor, judge or justice. That dollar sitting next to my computer is the great equalizer. Education has created a crisis in that some people seem to not want to share the leadership of certain professions. However, anyone who gains the skills should have the job.
When I went to barber school, there were women there. When I went to law school, it was the women who I had to work hard to keep up with, in order to make it. My business skills were learned from my mother who was an acknowledged business genius. She was smart and had developed a prosperous furniture and antique business. After I suffered a decline in my health, my wife is the one who has kept the publishing business going, along with the help of our sons and female staff.
My Sunday school teacher and my teachers at school were women. Women have always been in my life, and I give special honor to them during this Women’s History Month. I can only imagine what my life would have been like, without the contributions of women. Women have been the Joy, pain, and pleasure of this life, and I give them my love and thanks for many of my accomplishments.