But what of black women?… I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought its fineness up through so devilish a fire.
– W.E.B DuBois
Two of the dopest Black women I know decided to merge Black History Month and Women’s History Month together with wild success . Humble brag: one of them was my elementary school (Nidhamu Sasa) principal and lifelong hero.
Fasaha Traylor and Dr. Allener Rogers are co-authors of a book that should be in the hands of every teacher who have established their classrooms as anti-racist refuges. Jovida Hill, author of “In The Land of Jim Crow,’’ and director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission for Women said it well:
Allener M. Baker Rogers and Fasaha M. Traylor have given us a remarkable gift in their book, “They Carried Us, The Social Impact of Philadelphia’s Women Black Leaders. It couldn’t have come at a better time. As we approach the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, and Black women being intentionally erased from the Women’s Suffrage Movement, this celebration of Black women in leadership, underscores how Black women everywhere have been uplifting us all
They Carried Us: The Social Impact of Philadelphia’s Black Women Leaders is perfectly titled as it highlights the extraordinary work of 95 Black Women – 95 historical and contemporary heroes that we should all know.
…we want these kids and young people to get this book because it really, truly is a roadmap for them to succeed. The history is part of it, but another part of it is this notion that You can do things. You’re already doing things and here are some women who have done some of those things as well.
We know that we have to protect the psyche of the Black child. When viral, gut wrenching, and harbinger-type videos of little Black girls wrestling with their beauty surface, we are reminded that protecting the positive racial identity of our children is a full time task and endeavor.
This book can help as it highlights the long ignored and erased strength, creativity, and courageous resilience of our sisters, mothers, daughters, and aunts.
For more information, the authors can be reached via email at: [email protected].
Sharif El-Mekki is the principal of Mastery Charter School–Shoemaker Campus, a neighborhood public charter school in Philadelphia that serves 750 students in grades 7-12. From 2013-2015, he was one of three principal ambassador fellows working on issues of education policy and practice with U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Arne Duncan.