Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Finer Womanhood Week & Month

Finer Womanhood Week & Month

Finer Womanhood Week & Month is a Sorority hallmark begun in 1923. This observance was originally held the last full week of February, and was later expanded to also include the entire month of March. Finer Womanhood is defined as "the distinguishing characteristics of a woman-one superior in kind, quality or appearance, marked by or affecting elegance or refinement." Finer Womanhood is a principle unique to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Finer Womanhood celebrations and activities emphasize the standards, morals, customs, and attributes of fine young ladies, women and community and Sorority members

March is also the month set aside by our nation as Women's History Month. There are some great post by my fellow book club members dedicated to suggestions of great reading material for Women's History month.(check out the links to the right of this post).

My dedication to Finer Womanhood Month and Women's History month is to spotlight a few great women who have made a difference or broken ground in their chosen fields.

  • Soror Violette Anderson - 1st African American Woman to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Soror Judge Bernice B. Donald - 1st African American Female elected to the Tennessee Judiciary
  • Soror Dr. Alyce Gullante - First Black psychiatrist to receive an Emmy Award
  • Soror Elizabeth Kootz - The first African American President of the National Education Association, former director of the Women's Bureau.
  • Soror Versia Lindsay - The first woman to graduate from the School of Sciences at Atlanta University
  • Soror Clara McLaughlin - President/CEO, East Texas Television (1st African-American Woman to own and operate a television station
  • Soror Madame C.J. Walker - 1st African-American Millionaire (Inventor of the pressing comb)
  • Marian Anderson - The first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera.
  • Dr Condoleezza Rice - the first African American woman to be appointed Secretary of State
Now, I would not be a true book-a-holic if I did not include some great female authors in this post:

  • Maya Angelou - poet, educator, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director
  • Soror Gwendolyn Brooks - Author
  • Soror Zora Neale Hurston - Writer and Folklorist / The Harlem Renaissance
  • Soror Frances Cress Welsing - Author of "The Isis Papers" and creator of the Cress-Welsing theory analyzing the nature of white supremacy
  • Virginia Hamilton - America's most honored writer of Books for Children
  • Akua Lezli Hope - poet, writer, and a founding member of the Black Writers Union and the New Renaissance Writers Guild; she is an Area Coordinator for Amnesty International
  • Toni Morrison - author;she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993
  • Alice Walker - Author; she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983

by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.


Dera Williams said...

What a great post and fitting tribute to Black womanhood, Zetas and women everywhere. Very nice.

Ladysilver said...

thanks Dera.

Phyllis said...

Nice post in honor of Finer Womanhood Month! Looking forward to more postings now that I have you in my reader. :-)