This is our Black Story: Queens Edition, so I thought I would shed light on some of our Melanated Queens who we may not know of. I have put a small list together of a few names that were not familar to myslef. I may have heard of them but I was not knoweledgable of their contributions.
Barrow was raised in Burton, Texas, where as a student she led a demonstration of rural African American schoolchildren against a segregated school system. Tell me that isn’t black girl magic in the making.
In 1962, she worked with the Rev. Jesse Jackson to create Operation Breadbasket, an organization focused on meeting the needs of underserved black communities. Rev. Jackson would later found Operation P.U.S.H (People United to Serve Humanity) based on Operation Breadbasket. She replaced Jackson as executive director of Operation PUSH in 1984.
This Queen has also crusaded for issues such as AIDS in the black community, children’s welfare, and domestic violence.
Marian Wright Edelman studied at Spelman College, abroad on a Merrill scholarship, and she traveled to the Soviet Union with a Lisle fellowship. I haven’t had the chance to attend Spelman but a few of my sistrens have. Ayyyee. She also studied at Yale and graduated Law School. She held a job in New York working for the NAACP Legal and Defense Fund, and then in Mississippi for the same organization.
Marian Wright Edelman established the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in 1973 as a voice for poor, minority and handicapped children. She served as a public speaker on behalf of these children, and also as a lobbyist in Congress, as well as president and administrative head of the organization.
Myrlie Evers-Williams, original name Myrlie Louise Beasley (born March 17, 1933, Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.), African American activist and the wife of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, whose racially motivated murder in 1963 made him a national icon. In 1995–98 Evers-Williams was the first woman to head the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
She published the memoir For Us, the Living (1967), earned a degree in sociology at Pomona College (1968), and made an unsuccessful bid for election to the U.S. Congress (1970).
She left the post three years later and founded the Medgar Evers Institute (later the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute) in Jackson.
She was an African-American poet and essayist who gave voice to issues of race, gender and sexuality. Lorde’s love of poetry started at a young age, and she began writing as a teenager. I read about her on my journey for African American women who were poets and authors. I love her. She attended Hunter College.
Audre Lorde battled cancer for more than a decade and spent her last few years living in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Around this time, she took an African name, Gamba Adisa, meaning “she who makes her meaning clear. She described herself as A self-described “black feminist lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.”