Guest Post – Our Crown Has Been Bought: Why #WomensHistoryMonth Matters

To conclude the #WomensHistoryMonth guest post series is blogger Anuli Akanegbu. Visit her blog “Also Known As Anuli” for her musings on pop culture, technology and life as a 20-something living in Chicago.

Young Girl Playing By Herself

 

When I was a little girl I had more dream jobs than Barbie. I wanted to be a firefighter, a hairdresser and an international superstar all at the same time. I never once questioned whether I could do it all or have it all because I was taught to believe that if I tried my best and lived with passion then I could achieve whatever I set my mind towards.

I will admit that I currently envy that little girl and her ambition. Over the years, I’ve questioned myself and have given in on multiple occasions to Impostor Syndrome.

“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.” This quote is often attributed to Maya Angelou, but it was actually first said by James Baldwin in regards to the double discrimination he faced from being both black and gay.

Similarly to Baldwin the crown I wear is a double-tiered one because I am black and I am woman.

That being said, I often wonder whether the points of my crown could one day shatter the glass ceiling, so I could really have it all. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure how I would even define this mythical “all.” Despite being encouraged to whole-heartedly believe in myself there are times when part of me expects someone to come up, remove my crown and tell me that playtime is over.

These are the times when I feel like I’m lost in the middle of a forest unsure of the “right” path to go towards. But, as a college professor once told me, “When you’re lost in the middle of a forest, the only way you can go is out.”

It’s easy to get caught up thinking about the “right” path to go on. Trying to calculate every move you make, so you can get to the “right” destination. All the while wondering if you started in the “right” place to begin with. It’s easy to get caught up in the weeds because the weeds are all you see.

It’s times like these that illustrate the necessity of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month provides our society with a moment in time to look at women who have made it out of the forest with their crowns intact. Women’s History Month brings us as women together in unity, so that we may all be inspired by the women in front of us, behind us and beside us to rise together, so that our crowns may collectively create little dents that with time will shatter the glass ceiling.

Women’s History Month is more than just a book display at the local public library. It’s a time to honor women who dared to believe that their best was good enough and to encourage ambitious little girls to develop into ambitious grown women. At the very least, it is a time to remember that whenever you feel lost in the forest there are women who have been lost before too, but eventually they found their way. As will you.

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