By Te-Erika Patterson
We are intelligent. We are innovative. We are passionate. We are strong. We are a new breed of women. We are the contemporary Black women that our ancestors dreamt of. We take risks, we change lives and we inspire others to do the same.
The National Women’s Business Council estimates that there are more than 414,000 majority-owned, privately-held firms owned by Black women in the United States. These firms employ more than 254,000 people and generate over $19.5 billion in sales each year. Today we are also seeing a rise in Black women who seek higher education. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 80 percent of Black women over the age of 25 have earned a high school diploma or a college degree. A report recently published by NorthJersey.com cites that 68 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded nationwide to Blacks are earned by women. Black women in America have shattered the glass ceiling in every industry and are consistently acknowledged for their positive contributions to the workplace.
Black sisters are doing it big as evidenced by the fact that Oprah Winfrey is the highest paid television entertainer in the world while Serena Williams stands strong as one of the top paid female athletes earning approximately $12.7 million a year. Our beauty is celebrated like never before, affording more opportunities for women of color to reap the benefits from high paying careers in entertainment, fashion and modeling.From mother to daughter, hand to hand, there’s a fire being passed down through each generation. Each flame burns brighter than the next. The warmth of each embrace fuels the passion of each spirit pushing us to dream bigger, fight harder and live life better than the woman passing us the torch.
All limitations have been removed. The stage is set. It will only take sheer determination and will power to meet any projected goal. There’s a light shining inside of you that is yearning to be shared with the world. If no one else recognizes its existence you have to know that it is there. Stand up. Appreciate your light. Use the tools handed down to you to carve your niche in society. You were created with a purpose. Celebrate that purpose and prepare to pass on an even greater gift to the women in the wings waiting eagerly for you to light the way.