© 2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved
Portrait courtesy of untilitsallgone.com
If I were a woman in the midst of history, as Mrs. Michelle Obama is in this portrait. Crossing that veil, how would I start a conversation? I envision a party in a grand room.
In my mind, Luther Vandross is playing; yes I know he’s not a woman–But he’s Luther…we women love him.
Flowers are everywhere, roses of all colors, rare blooms, smells wonderful.
The room has an open floor plan, and is bright and well lit, with portraits of unnamed women throughout time, who’ve fought on the behalf of all people. I read names and take notes, I will research these ladies later.
I walk over to groups and join conversations…here are some excerpts of my comments:
Bessie Coleman (aviator, first black women to hold a pilot’s license)
“How is Mae Jemison doing? You’d both be pleased to know we have so many female pilots and astronauts now. Why don’t I fly? Well, cause I truly fear heights, but I’ve been a passenger.”
Katherine Durham (choreographer, educator, activist)
“Have you met Rihanna?, she puts her money where her heart is.”
Maya Angelou (poet, author, civil rights activist)
“I’ve missed you, do you know I just began writing too; although I know I couldn’t be as honest and open as you.”
Rosa Parks (the first lady of civil rights)
“Just so you know, all teens now choose to sit at the back of the bus.”
Dorothy Height (educator, activist, fought for rights of black women) and Mary McLeod Bethune (educator, activist, established a private school for black children)
“Oprah Winfrey established a school for black girls in South Africa; and recently someone asked her if she’d consider the presidency. I think she’d win.”
Dorothy Dandridge (actress, dancer, first black female Academy Award nominee for Best Actress)
“Girl, Viola Davis is kicking Academy butt, and she’s not light skinned; she’s changing what Hollywood thinks about sexy. She wears her hair natural, in public! That caused all kinds of media drama.”
Ida B. Wells Barnett (journalist, editor, suffragist)
“You would have so much fun protesting in this era, when new policies seek to turn back time.”
Althea Gibson (first black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis)
“Serena and Venus Williams are great players, yet I still hear them booed in some stadiums; doesn’t stop them from slaughtering opponents though. I love when they win in pairs.”
Josephine Baker (singer/entertainer, french resistance) and Mahalia Jackson (the queen of gospel, civil rights supporter)
“Lady Gaga said, she’s just trying to change the world one sequin at a time, you guys would love her style; she’s fought for marriage rights for all. Selena Gomez supports UNICEF, helping at risk children around the world. Ariana Grande speaks out on the rights of women to be as human as men, which we would all agree is long overdue.”
As you would imagine, the party ends much too soon. If you were in the room, who would you seek to speak with and what would you say?