Women Of Color Who Succeed Against All Odds
People often face heartache and suffer a great deal throughout their lives. Although faced with tragedy, many black women are able to rise above all odds and become successful in life. A few black women who have risen from the ashes are Ursula Burns, Dr. Mae Jemison, and Oprah Winfrey. Their triumphs, despite difficult circumstances, give hope to many African American women that prosperity is attainable.
Ursula Burns is currently CEO of Xerox, a copy and printing company; however, she came from very humble beginnings. Growing up with her single mother in public housing, Ursula tried very hard to become something other than what was expected of her. After taking classes with predominantly white men, Ursula became an engineer. Soon after, she attended an Ivy League school to receive her graduate degree and ultimately become CEO of Xerox.
Another successful black women is Dr. Mae Jemison, who is the first black woman to travel in space and has nine honorary doctorates. She too came from a humble childhood; her parents were an elementary school teacher and a maintenance supervisor. Also, while attending Stanford University, she faced judgment from her white professors and her white male colleagues. Nevertheless, Dr. Mae did not discourage. She received an M.D. and was later chosen by NASA to enter their astronaut training program, which only admitted 15 out of 2,000 candidates.
The most well-known African American woman is Oprah Winfry. She overcame a great deal during her childhood to become a billionaire today. She was born to a teenage mother and grew up with her grandmother. Also, beginning at the age of nine, Oprah was molested by her uncle, family friend, and cousin. She eventually had a son at the age of 14, but he died during infancy. Children at school also made fun of her, calling her ugly and poor. Despite the obvious struggle that she faced, Oprah persisted to succeed, and Nashville’s WLAC-TV hired Oprah as their youngest and first black female news anchor. After this position, Oprah went on to star in the movie “The Color Purple” and host her own show called “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. She now has her own television channel and is worth $3 billion dollars.
These women have inspired so many women, especially black women, to be accomplished and to never give up. No matter how difficult the struggle, black women can overcome any barriers that get in their way. In the words of African American poet Maya Angelou, “you may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies; you may tread me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I rise.”