Inspirational Stories

3 African American Women Who Inspire #InternationalWomensDay

If you want to see me smile, ask me about women who inspire me. I’ll beam with delight and tell you about any of these women. I see them as whole, creative, fascinating, beautiful and accomplished.

🎧 In my own words.

Living African American Women Who Inspire Mae Jemison Bozoma Saint John and Ava Duvernay

Dr. Mae Jemison Motivates

I learned of Dr. Mae C. Jemison when I was a little girl. Her mastery as an Astronaut, Physician, and Dancer, wows me. Even more phenomenally and personally inspiring, Dr. Jemison served on the board of directors of the World Sickle Cell Foundation from 1990 to 1992. So she is truly one of the most phenomenal women in the world in my mind.

Living African American Women Who Inspire Mae Jemison
Image from NASA on Twitter

3 Quotes from Dr. Mae Jemison that I live by are:

  1. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out…You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.”
    – Dr. Mae Jemison
  2. “What we find is that if you have a goal that is very, very far out, and you approach it in little steps, you start to get there faster. Your mind opens up to the possibilities.” 
    – Dr. Mae Jemison
  3. “The future never just happened. It was created.” 
    – Dr. Mae Jemison
Bozoma Saint John Living African American Women Who Inspire
Image from Cosmopolitan.com

Bozoma Saint John is Living Life to the Fullest

I learned of Bozoma Saint John about 3 years ago via Twitter. Her name was trending and I was curious who she was. Saint John’s confidence was electric. Black Enterprise referred to her as one of, “The Most Powerful Women in Business.” I admire her although, I’ve never met her. She seems like an intelligent woman who is cool to learn from and hang out with. Her resume includes being the head of music and entertainment marketing at Pepsi. The head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple Music. And in 2019 she is serves as the CBO of Uber.

Feel free to read more about Bozoma Saint John and how she continued to thrive as a mother and career woman after the death of her husband. She is a person who has faced pain but didn’t dwell there. Learn more about her in Cosmopolitan’s article: The Raw, Amazing Story of How Bozoma “Badass Boz” Saint John Became the CBO of Uber

Here is Bozoma Saint John’s video that wowed me:

3 Bozoma Saint John Quotes to Take to Heart

  • “I’ve said this a lot — you should bring your whole self to work. ” Bozoma Saint John
  • The key of it all, for life in general, is that you can’t depend on other people’s opinions of you or your work to validate what you do. That’s a straight shot to nightmare. I just follow my gut. Bozoma Saint John
  • We only get better by telling our real story. That’s the only way to be. Bozoma Saint John

Ava Duvernay Director Extraordinaire

Ava, is the only woman on this list whom I’ve actually met in person. It was a brief encounter at the NABJ conference a couple of years ago, but it was enough time for me to see that I could change the world in my own way. I’m not one to get starstruck. I believe celebrities are regular people who may received a little more money and attention than the rest of us. What inspires me most about Ava, is that she didn’t become a director right out of college. Nope, it was until her thirties that she decided to become a film director. So in my mind it’s never too late to live your dreams.

Living African American Women Who Inspire Ava Duvernay
Image from Because of Them We Can

Ava’s Inspiring Quotes

  • When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us. Ava DuVernay
  • There’s something very important about films about black women and girls being made by black women. It’s a reflection as opposed to an interpretation. Ava DuVernay
  • If your dream is only about you, it’s too small. Ava DuVernay

This post is a bit personal because these are the women who I really look to for inspiration. Dr. Jemison is one of the most intellectual accomplished women living regardless of race and I aspire to learn continuously just as she has. Bozoma Saint John has a swag and flare that says, I’m beautiful, intelligent, and I command respect while being authentically me. Last but not least, Ava Duvernay. I look at her strength and courage and I say to myself when your output is excellent people will listen.

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