Women’s History Month as a commemoration has only been recognized less than 30 years. Recognition of the importance of women in American history is long overdue. Women have been active in every significant episode in the evolution of the United States. The fight for civil rights during the later half of the 20th century would have had radically different outcomes without the contribution and leadership of women. Our mothers, sisters and daughters do not get the credit or consideration they deserve for enduring and overcoming assaults associated with sexism, racism, and poverty. Women have been and continue to be critical for the development of men. However, the shrinking number of adult males in communities brought about by school-to-prison pipelines and persistent high levels of violence associated with a drug-fueled underground economy have forced a significant segment of women to take on multiple roles in their homes and community. Women continue to hold it together but this comes at a cost. The focus on survival leaves little time and resources for the pursuit of upward mobility. As a result, families remain trapped in environments where discouragement, despair, and danger destroy hopes and dreams of better days.
A change will come when minority boys are groomed into men who cherish gifts of love they have been given by their mothers, aunts, sisters, girlfriends, friend-girls, and wives. It is a rare male who has not experienced the support and love of a woman. However, it is far to common for males to be unavailable to provide support and encouragement for those who sacrifice so much for us. We need to be present because the survival of our community and culture rests upon strong relationships between males and females. So as this women’s history month comes to a close, let us celebrate those who brought us in this world and continue to fight desperately for us to stay in it. We are our brothers AND sisters keeper and it is time for us to be full participants in the making of a new history where men, women, boys and girls are affirmed and allowed to pursue their personhood without undue, unfair, or unjust burden or barriers.