Girls In Action - Women As Role Models
Girls In Action - "All Kids Are Our Kids"
WOMEN AS ROLE MODELS
 
 
 
Madam C.J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919) was an African-American businesswoman, hair care entrepreneur and philanthropist. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women under the company she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Madam C.J Walker was born Sarah Breedlove, on December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana to Owen and Minerva Breedlove.
Like many women of her era, Sarah experienced hair loss. Because most Americans lacked indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity, they bathed and washed their hair infrequently. The result was scalp disease. Sarah experimented with home remedies and products already on the market until she finally developed her own shampoo and an ointment that contained sulfur to make her scalp healthier for hair growth.

Soon Sarah—now known as Madam C. J. Walker—was selling her products throughout the United States. While her daughter Lelia ran a mail order business from Denver, Madam Walker and her husband traveled throughout the southern and eastern states. They settled in Pittsburgh in 1908 and opened Lelia College to train "hair culturists." In 1910 Walker moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she established her headquarters and built a factory.

She began to lecture other black women and help them to build their own businesses. She also gave other lectures on black issues at conventions sponsored by powerful black institutions. After the East St. Louis Race Riot, she joined leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in their efforts to support legislation to make lynching a federal crime. In 1918 at the biennial convention of the National Association Of Colored Woman (NACW) she was acknowledged for making the largest contribution to save the Anacostia (Washington, DC) house of abolitionist Fredrerick Douglass. She continued to donate money throughout her career to the NACCP, the YMCA, and to black schools, organizations, individuals, orphanages, and retirement homes.

She died of hypertension. Her last words were, "I have to get better so I can help my people."
Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964 on Chicago's South Side. Her father, Fraser, worked for the Chicago Water Department while her mother, Marian, raised Michelle and her older brother, Craig. A product of Chicago public schools, Michelle went on to Princeton University and then Harvard Law School. Upon graduation, she found work at the prestigious Chicago law firm, Sidley & Austin. It was at Sidley & Austin that she met her future husband, who was then completing a summer internship. Mrs. Obama has held positions at the University of Chicago and at the University of Chicago Hospitals, in addition to her own community organizing work. The First Lady and President Obama are the parents of two daughters, Malia and Natasha.
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey began her broadcasting career when she was still in high school. At the age of 19, she became the youngest person and the first African-American woman to anchor the news at WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tennessee. Her television show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, has been the number one ranked television talk show for 22 straight seasons. And that’s not all! According to Forbes magazine, Ms. Winfrey was the richest African American of the 20th century and the world's only African-American billionaire for three years running. Life magazine hailed her as the most influential woman of her generation. In 2005, Business Week named her the greatest African-American philanthropist in American history. Oprah's Angel Network has raised more than $51,000,000 for charitable programs, including girls' education in South Africa and relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavor, September 12, 1992 — the first woman of color to go into space. This historic event was only another in a series of accomplishments for this dynamic African-American woman. Dr. Jemison was Science Mission Specialist (a NASA first) on the STS-47 Space lab J flight, a US/Japan joint mission. She conducted experiments in life sciences, material sciences, and was co-investigator in the Bone Cell Research experiment. Dr. Jemison resigned from NASA in March 1993.
Brigadier (Brig-a-deer) General Sheila R. Baxter
Brigadier (Brig-a-deer) General Sheila R. Baxter
The first female general officer in the Army Medical Service Corps is Brigadier (Brig-a-deer) General Sheila R. Baxter, a 28-year career officer. A Brigadier General is an officer of the rank between Colonel and Major General. In July 2002, she received the Honorary Silver Award for excellence in community service from the Lord Mayor of Pirmasens, Germany. She is a licensed Evangelist with the Church of God in Christ, Inc.
Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis Missouri to Bailey Johnson and Vivian Baxter Johnson. She is one of the most important African American authors and orators of the twentieth century. Her achievements span over seven decades and showcase a wealth of talents, beginning in the early 1940s when she became San Francisco’s first female cable car conductor. Angelou then emerged as a singer and dancer in the 1950s and became an editor and writer in the 1960s. In the 1970s she began exploring her talents as an actress, director, poet and screenwriter.

Angelou’s highly acclaimed 1970 autobiography “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” became an important example of African American literature as it chronicled the amazing journey of a young woman who overcame a childhood rape, made a pilgrimage to Africa, served as a civil rights activist and became a shining example of self-determination.
Kimora Lee
Kimora Lee
Kimora Lee was bor January 21, 1921. A towering 6-foot, 4-inches in heels, Kimora Lee Simmons began a successful career as a model when she was 14 years old, working under exclusive contract with Chanel. Then, in 1998, she married hip-hop media mogul Russell Simmons and entered the fashion design business. Expanding her husband's Phat Farm men's clothing line, Simmons became the creative genius behind Baby Phat, which offers urban, chic clothing and accessories for women and children. Outspoken and with a definite flair for high-end extravagance, Simmons has created a brand-worthy name for herself that has overflowed into jewelry, cosmetics, and shoes. She also has a fledgling career in film and television.
Susan Brownell Anthony
Susan Brownell Anthony
Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She traveled the United States, and Europe, and gave 75 to 100 speeches every year on women's rights for 45 years.

It may be hard to imagine, but women in the United States haven't always had the right to vote. It took the hard work and dedication of people, such as Susan B. Anthony, to make that happen. She spent much of her life fighting for causes she believed in, especially for women's suffrage, or the right to vote.
Born on February 15, 1820, in Adams, Massachusetts, Anthony grew up in a politically active family. They worked to end slavery in what was called the abolitionist movement. They were also part of the temperance movement, which wanted the production and sale of alcohol limited or stopped completely. Anthony was inspired to fight for women's rights while campaigning against alcohol. She denied a chance to speak at a temperance convention because she was a woman. Anthony later realized that no one would take women in politics seriously unless they had the right to vote.
Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), an African American teacher, was one of the great educators of the United States. She was a leader of women, a distinguished adviser to several American presidents, and a powerful champion of racial equality.

Mary McLeod was born in Mayesville, S.C. Her parents, Samuel and Patsy McLeod, were former slaves; Mary was the fifteenth of 17 children. She helped her parents on the family farm and first entered a Presbyterian mission school when she was 11 years old. Later she attended Scotia Seminary, a school for African American girls in Concord, N.C., on a scholarship. She graduated in 1893; there she had met some of the people with whom she would work closely.

Though she had a serious turn of mind, it did not prevent her from being a lively dancer and developing a lasting fondness for music. Dynamic and alert, she was very popular and the acknowledged leader of her classmates. After graduating from Scotia Seminary, she attended the Moody Bible Institute.

In 1923 Bethune's school for girls merged with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Fla., a school for boys, and the new coeducational school became known as Bethune-Cookman Collegiate Institute, soon renamed Bethune-Cookman College. Bethune served as president of the college until her retirement as president emeritus in 1942. She remained a trustee of the college to the end of her life. By 1955 the college had a faculty of 100 and a student enrollment of over 1,000.

Bethune gained national recognition in 1936, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her director of African American affairs in the National Youth Administration and a special adviser on minority affairs. She served for 8 years and supervised the expansion of employment opportunities and recreational facilities for African American youth throughout the United States. She also served as special assistant to the secretary of war during World War II. In the course of her government assignments she became a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. During her long career Bethune received many honorary degrees and awards, including the Haitian Medal of Honor and Merit (1949), the highest award of the Haitian government.

Bethune died in Daytona Beach on May 18, 1955, of a heart attack. She was buried on the campus of Bethune-Cookman College.

"The Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Statue, in Lincoln Park in Washington, DC, was the first statue erected to a woman or African American of honor. The 17-foot-high bronze statue shows Bethune handing off her sum of learning to two children, representing the next generation of African Americans."