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National Women’s History Month: Our most influential women


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“I’m every women, it’s all in me!” Whitney Houston said it best. March is Women’s History Month, which was established in 1987 to celebrate women of character, courage and commitment, as well as honor their extraordinary achievements.

During the early 1900s, women were not allowed to work. When they were granted the right to work, they were not allowed to bring in more money than their male counterpart. Men were always at the forefront, and women were their backbone. Men were taught to go out and work in order to provide for his family while women stayed home to tend to the children. Times have changed. Women have progressed more than ever before and have become the breadwinners. There was a time when men were CEOs while women were secretaries. Now, there are a number of women CEOs.

What would men do without women?

One of N.C. A&T’s very own, Ms. Canisha Cierra Turner is the current student government association president for the 2013-2014 academic school year.  Since being at A&T, Turner has served as the vice president of internal affairs, senator of agriculture and environmental sciences, and research undergraduate assistant in the department of agribusiness. She has received many honors and awards throughout her undergraduate career. Turner actively participates on campus, as well as in the community.

At a young age, Turner competed in many pageants and cumulated many state and national titles.  She was recognized by superstar Janet Jackson as a youth for her exceptional contributions to the community and abroad. The SGA president also traveled to Ghana, West Africa where she donated books and other school supplies to village schools. Upon graduating, she aspires to become White House Press Secretary in Washington, D.C.

Forbes ranked Michelle Obama fourth on a list of 100 of the most powerful women. She received her Bachelor of Arts and science from Princeton University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Harvard University.  As first lady, she promotes living healthy while fighting childhood obesity. Obama’s slogan is “Let’s move!” Michelle Obama advocates national service and education. She helps military families and assists working women in balancing career and family.

Television personnel, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey, is worth $2.9 billion dollars, according to Forbes. On average, Winfrey makes approximately $300 million every year. She has become one of the most powerful and influential women in America. After its debut, The Oprah Winfrey show rose to the number one talk show in Chicago. Winfrey appeared in films such as “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” “The Women of Brewster Place,” and “The Butler,” all of which she received many awards for her roles. Oprah is a published author having written five books. She established the Oprah Winfrey and donated more than $100 million to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls in South Africa. Currently, she has her own network, OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Condaleeza Rice is an African American politician, political scientist, business woman, and diplomat. She received her Master’s and PhD in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and her PhD in political science from the University of Denver. She was appointed National Security Advisor and later served as United States Secretary of State under former president, George W. Bush. Rice also became Stanford University’s first African American Provost.

Beyoncé Knowles- Carter is a female R&B vocalist, actress and entrepreneur. Currently, Carter is worth $350 million according to Forbes. Carter and her mother, Tina Knowles launched a women’s fashion line, “House of Dereon” that produces clothing, accessories and footwear.  She has partnered with L’Oreal and Pepsi. Carter has also established the Survivor Foundation.  A foundation that assists Hurricane Katrina victims in Houston, Tx.

There are many African American women who have made names for themselves as political figures, entertainers, and producers.  Despite the odds being against them, Black women are pushing past old stigmas that have plagued them for years. Mrs. Carter summed it up perfectly. Who runs the world? Girls!

— Email Mija at  [email protected]  and follow us on Twitter @TheATRegister

  • Mija Gary, Register Contributor
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National Women’s History Month: Our most influential women