People Nominate The Women Who Should Be Featured During Black History Month
People Nominate The Women Who Should Be Featured During Black History Month[rebelmouse-image 18362069 is_animated_gif=
I AM BLACK HISTORY
I was born 1996, an African American,
Bore the blood of my ancestors, in my veins inheriting,
The trait of beautiful mahogany brown skin,
And the blessing to flaunt the skin that I am in,
Passed down to me their passion for music, culture, and art,
Their love for dance and the love they share from the purest of hearts,
Today I honor them for my freedom their lives they gave,
As they continue to watch over us from their dearing grave,
When I grow up with drive and ambition,
Like Madame CJ Walker, I could change the world with my invention,
I could move the souls of people with my words of great meaning,
Like Martin Luther King Jr. who had a dream but I'm still dreaming,
I could make a status quo that'll stick with the world,
By any means necessary next to Malcom X, I would be the first girl,
Or I could start a movement like the bus boycott,
Started by Rosa Parks who wouldnt give up her spot,
Maybe I can start a group like the NAACP,
Fighting for the rights of the voices who aren't heard in society,
Possible isn't in my vocabulary because the possibilities are endless,
Due to my ancestors who showed me not to fight but proudly hold up a balled fist,
And to fight them verbally, not physically like the savages they expect you to,
Fight them mentally, morally about the the cries that aren't heard and the deaths that dont make it to the news,
To take a stand in this world and leave my legacy,
Because I AM the next generation, I AM BLACK HISTORY
Daisy Bates[rebelmouse-image 18362070 is_animated_gif=
Daisy Bates is known for her role in supporting the 1957 integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was a journalist, newspaper publisher, civil rights activist, and social reformer. Daisy Bates (11/11/1914 - 11/4/1999) was raised in Huttig, Arkansas, by adoptive parents after her mother was murdered by three white men.
In 1952, Daisy became the Arkansas branch president of the NAACP. In 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation of schools was unconstitutional, Daisy and others worked to figure out how to integrate the Little Rock Schools. In the capital city of Arkansas, the Little Rock School Board agreed to comply with the high court's ruling. A plan of gradual integration was unanimously approved by the school board on May 24, 1955. The plan would be implemented during the fall of the 1957 school year.
Nine African-American students were chosen to actually be the first to integrate the previously all-white Little Rock Central High school; they became known as the Little Rock Nine. Daisy Bates was instrumental in supporting these nine students in their action.
But in September of 1957, Arkansas' Governor Orval Faubus arranged for the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the African American students from entering Central High School. In response to the action and protests of the action, President Eisenhower federalized the guard and sent in federal troops. On September 25, 1957, the nine students entered Central High amid angry protests.
The next month, Daisy and others were arrested for not turning over NAACP records. Though Daisy was no longer an officer of the NAACP, she was fined; her conviction was eventually overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mary McLeod Bethune[rebelmouse-image 18362071 is_animated_gif=
Known as the "First Lady of the Struggle," Mary McLeod Bethune (7/10/1875 - 5/18/1955) was a trailblazing African-American educator and civil rights leader. Mary strongly believed that education was the key to equal rights and founded the groundbreaking Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute, now known as the Bethune-Cookman College, in 1904.
Passionate about both women's rights and civil rights, Mary served as president of the National Association of Colored Women and founded the National Council of Negro Women.
In an era when blacks were generally banned from positions of authority, Mary was president of a university, opened a hospital, was CEO of a company, advised four U.S. presidents, and was chosen to attend the founding convention of the United Nations.
Hallie Quinn Brown[rebelmouse-image 18362072 is_animated_gif=
Hallie Brown's parents were former slaves who married about 1840. Her father, who bought his freedom and that of family members, was the son of a Scottish plantation owner and her African American overseer; her mother was the granddaughter of a white planter who had fought in the Revolutionary War, and she was freed by this grandfather.
Hallie Brown's birth date is uncertain. It is given as early as 1845 and as late as 1855. Hallie Brown (3/10/1845, 1850, or 1855? - 9/16/1949) grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Chatham, Ontario.
She graduated from Wilberforce University in Ohio and taught in schools in Mississippi and South Carolina. In 1885 she became dean of Allen University in South Carolina and studied at the Chautauqua Lecture School. She taught public school in Dayton, Ohio, for four years, and then was appointed lady principal (dean of women) of Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, working with Booker T. Washington.
From 1893 to 1903, Hallie Brown served as professor of elocution at Wilberforce University, though on a limited basis as she lectured and organized, traveling frequently. She helped promote the Colored Woman's League which became part of the National Association of Colored Women. In Great Britain, where she spoke to popular acclaim on African American life, she made several appearances before Queen Victoria, including tea with the Queen in July 1889.
Hallie Brown also spoke for temperance groups. She took up the cause of woman suffrage and spoke on the topic of full citizenship for women as well as civil rights for black Americans. She represented the United States at the International Congress of Women, meeting in London in 1899. In 1925 she protested segregation of the Washington (DC) Auditorium being used for the All-American Musical Festival of the International Council of Women, threatening that all black performers would boycott the event if segregated seating were not ended.
Two hundred black entertainers did boycott the event and black participants left in response to her speech.
Hallie Brown served as president of several organizations after she retired from teaching, including the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs and the National Association of Colored Women. She served as a representative of the Women's Parent Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at the World Missionary Conference in Scotland in 1910. She helped raise funds for Wilberforce University and helped initiate the drive to raise funds to preserve Frederick Douglass' home in Washington, DC, a project undertaken with the help of Douglass' second wife, Helen Pitts Douglass.
In 1924 Hallie Brown supported the Republican Party, speaking for Warren Harding's nomination at the Republican Party convention where she took the opportunity to speak up for civil rights. She published a few books, mostly connected with public speaking or famous women and men.
Marjorie Lee Browne[rebelmouse-image 18362073 is_animated_gif=
Marjorie Lee Browne, an educator and mathematician, was one of first two (or three?) black women to receive a doctorate in mathematics in the United States, 1949. In 1960, Marjorie Lee Browne wrote a grant to IBM to bring a computer to a college campus---one of the first such college computers, and likely the first at any historically black college. She lived from September 9, 1914 to October 19, 1979.
Born Marjorie Lee in Memphis, Tennessee, the future mathematician was a skilled tennis player and singer as well as showing early signs of mathematics talent. Her father, Lawrence Johnson Lee, was a railway postal clerk, and her mother died when Browne was two years old. She was raised by her father and a stepmother, Lottie Taylor Lee (or Mary Taylor Lee) who taught school.
She was educated at local public schools, then graduated from LeMoyne High School, a Methodist school for African Americans, in 1931. She went to Howard University for college, graduating cum laude in 1935 in mathematics. She then attended graduate school at the University of Michigan, earning an M.S. in mathematics in 1939. In 1949, Marjorie Lee Browne at the University of Michigan and Evelyn Boyd Granville (ten years younger) at Yale University became the first two African American women to earn Ph.D.'s in mathematics.
Browne's Ph.D. dissertation was in topology, a branch of mathematics related to geometry.
She taught in New Orleans for a year at Gilbert Academy, then taught in Texas at Wiley College, a historically black liberal arts college, from 1942 to 1945. She became a mathematics professor at North Carolina Central University, teaching there from 1950 to 1975.
She was the first chair of the math department, beginning in 1951. NCCU was the first public liberal arts school of higher education in the United States for African Americans.
She was rejected early in her career by major universities and taught in the South. She focused on preparing secondary school teachers to teach the "new math." She also worked to include women and people of color in careers in math and science. She often helped provide financial assistance to make it possible for students from poorer families to complete their education.
She began her math career before the explosion of efforts to expand those studying math and science in the wake of Russia's launching of the Sputnik satellite. She resisted the direction of math towards such practical applications as the space program, and instead worked with mathematics as pure numbers and concepts.
From 1952 to 1953, she studied combinatorial topology on a Ford Foundation fellowship at Cambridge University.
In 1957, she taught at the Summer Institute for Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teachers, under a National Science Foundation grant through NCCU. She was a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellow, University of California, studying computing and numerical analysis.
From 1965 to 1966, she studied differential topology at Columbia University on a fellowship.
Marian Wright Edelman[rebelmouse-image 18362074 is_animated_gif=
Marian Wright Edelman (6/6/1939 - ) was born in and grew up in Bennettsville, South Carolina, one of 5 children.
Her father, Arthur Wright, was a Baptist preacher who taught his children that Christianity required service in this world and who was influenced by A. Phillip Randolph. Her father died when Marian was only f14, urging in his last words to her, "Don't let anything get in the way of your education."
Marian went on to study at Spelman College, abroad on a Merrill scholarship, and she traveled to the Soviet Union with a Lisle fellowship. When she returned to Spelman in 1959, she became involved in the civil rights movement, inspiring her to drop her plans to enter the foreign service, and instead to study law. She studied law at Yale and worked as a student on a project to register African American voters in Mississippi.
In 1963, after graduating from Yale Law School, Marian worked first in New York for the NAACP Legal and Defense Fund, and then in Mississippi for the same organization.
There, she became the first African American woman to practice law. During her time in Mississippi, she worked on racial justice issues connected with the civil rights movement, and she also helped get a Head Start program established in her community.
During a tour by Robert Kennedy and Joseph Clark of Mississippi's poverty-ridden Delta slums, Marian met Peter Edelman, an assistant to Kennedy, and the next year she moved to Washington, D.C., to marry him and to work for social justice in the center of America's political scene. They had 3 sons.
In Washington, Marian continued her work, helping to get the Poor People's Campaign organized. She also began to focus more on issues relating to child development and children in poverty.
Marian established the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) in 1973 as a voice for poor, minority and handicapped children. She served as a public speaker on behalf of these children, and also as a lobbyist in Congress, as well as president and administrative head of the organization. The agency served not only as an advocacy organization, but as a research center, documenting the problems and possible solutions to children in need. To keep the agency independent, she saw that it was financed entirely with private funds.
Marian also published her ideas in several books. The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours was a surprising success.
In the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was elected President, Hillary Clinton's involvement with the CDF meant that there was significantly more attention given to the organization. But Marion did not pull her punches in criticizing the Clinton administration's legislative agenda - such as its "welfare reform" initiatives - when she believed these would be disadvantageous to the nation's neediest children.
As part of the efforts of Marian and the CDF on behalf of children, she has also advocated pregnancy prevention, child care funding, health care funding, prenatal care, parental responsibility for education in values, reducing the violent images presented to children, and selective gun control in the wake of school shootings.
Charlotte Forten Grimké[rebelmouse-image 18362075 is_animated_gif=
Charlotte Forten (8/17/1837 or 1838 -- 7/23/1914) was born into a prominent African American family in Philadelphia. Her father, Robert, was the son of James Forten (1766-1842), a businessman and antislavery activist who was a leader in Philadelphia's free black community.
Charlotte was taught at home until her father sent her to Salem, Massachusetts, where the schools were integrated. She lived there with the family of Charles Lenox Remond, also abolitionists. She met many of the famous abolitionists of the time there, and also literary figures. James Greenleaf Whittier, one of those, was to become important in her life. She also joined the Female Anti-Slavery Society there and began writing poems and keeping a diary.
After graduation, she took a job teaching at the all-white Epes Grammar School, the first black teacher there; she was the first African American teacher hired by Massachusetts public schools and may have been the first African American in the nation hired by any school to teach white students.
She became ill, probably with tuberculosis, and returned to live with her family in Philadelphia for three years.
She went back and forth between Salem and Philadelphia, teaching and then nurturing her fragile health.
In 1862, she heard of an opportunity for teaching former slaves, freed by the Union forces on islands off South Carolina's coast and technically "war contraband." Whittier urged her to go teach there, and she set off for a position at Saint Helena Island in the Port Royal Islands with a recommendation from him. At first, she was not accepted by the black students there, due to considerable class and culture differences, but gradually became more successful relating to her charges. In 1864, she contracted smallpox and then heard that her father had died of typhoid. She returned to Philadelphia to heal.
Back in Philadelphia, she began to write of her experiences. She sent her essays to Whittier, who got them published as "Life on Sea Islands."
In 1865, Forten, her health better, took a position working in Massachusetts with the Freedman's Union Commission. In 1869, she published her English translation of the French novel Madam Therese. By 1870, she listed herself in the Philadelphia census as "authoress." In 1871, she moved to South Carolina, teaching at Shaw Memorial School, also founded for education of the recently-freed slaves. She left that position later that year, and in 1871 -- 1872, she was in Washington, DC, teaching and serving as assistant principal at Sumner High School. She left that position to work as a clerk.
In Washington, Charlotte Forten joined the 15th Street Presbyterian Church, a prominent church for the black community in DC. There, in the late 1870s, she met the Rev. Francis James Grimké. On December 9, 1878, 26-year-old Francis married 41-year-old Charlotte.
Francis officiated at the 1884 wedding of Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts Douglass, a marriage that was considered scandalous in both black and white circles.
Charlotte continued publishing poetry and essays. In 1896, Charlotte helped to found the National Association of Colored Women.
Fannie Lou Hamer[rebelmouse-image 18362076 is_animated_gif=
"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
Many people recognize this quote, but don't know who said it. Known for her civil rights activism, Fannie Lou Hamer (10/6/1917 - 3/14/1977) was called "the spirit of the civil rights movement."
Born a sharecropper, she worked from the age of six as a timekeeper on a cotton plantation. In 1962, Fannie Lou volunteered to work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) registering black voters in the South. She and the rest of her family lost their jobs for her involvement, and SNCC hired her as a field secretary. She was able to register to vote for the first time in her life in 1963, and then taught others what they'd need to know to pass the then-required literacy test. In her organizing work, she often led the activists in singing Christian hymns about freedom: "This Little Light of Mine" and others.
In 1963, after being charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to go along with a restaurant's "whites only" policy, Fannie Lou was beaten so badly in jail, and refused medical treatment, that she was permanently disabled.
She helped organize the 1964 "Freedom Summer" in Mississippi, a campaign sponsored by SNCC, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the NAACP.
Because African Americans were excluded from the Mississippi Democratic Party, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was formed, with Fannie Lou as a founding member and vice president. The MFDP sent an alternate delegation to the 1964 Democratic National Convention, with 64 black and 4 white delegates. Fannie Lou testified to the convention's Credentials Committee about violence and discrimination faced by black voters trying to register to vote, and her testimony was televised nationally.
The MFDP refused a compromise offered to seat two of their delegates, and returned to further political organizing in Mississippi, and in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.
From 1968 to 1971, Fannie Lou was a member of the Democratic National Committee for Mississippi. Her 1970 lawsuit, Hamer v. Sunflower County, demanded school desegregation. She ran unsuccessfully for the Mississippi state Senate in 1971, and successfully for delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 1972.
She also lectured extensively and was known for a signature line she often used, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." She was known as a powerful speaker, and her singing voice lent another power to civil rights meetings.
Fannie Lou brought a Head Start program to her local community, formed a local Pig Bank cooperative (1968) with the help of the National Council of Negro Women, and later founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative (1969). She helped found the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971, speaking for inclusion of racial issues in the feminist agenda.
In 1972 the Mississippi House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring her national and state activism, passing 116 to 0.
Suffering from breast cancer, diabetes, and heart problems, Fannie Lou Hamer died in Mississippi in 1977.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper[rebelmouse-image 18362077 is_animated_gif=
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (9/24/1825 - 2/20/1911), born to free black parents, orphaned by the age of three, and raised by an aunt and uncle. She studied Bible, literature, and public speaking at a school founded by her uncle, William Watkins Academy for Negro Youth. At 14, she needed to work, but could only find jobs in domestic service and as a seamstress. She published her first volume of poetry in Baltimore about 1845, Forest Leaves or Autumn Leaves, but no copies are now known to exist.
Watkins moved from Maryland, a slave state, to Ohio, a free state in 1850, the year of the Fugitive Slave Act. In Ohio she taught domestic science as the first woman faculty member at Union Seminary, an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) school which later was merged into Wilberforce University.
A new law in 1853 prohibited any free black persons from re-entering Maryland. In 1854, she moved to Pennsylvania for a teaching job in Little York.
The next year she moved to Philadelphia. During these years, she became involved in the anti-slavery movement and with the Underground Railroad.
Watkins lectured frequently on abolitionism in New England, the Midwest, and California, and also published poetry in magazines and newspapers.
Her Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects, published in 1854 with a preface by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, sold more than 10,000 copies and was reissued and reprinted several times.
After the Civil War, Frances Harper visited the South and saw the appalling conditions, especially of black women, of Reconstruction. She lectured on the need for equal rights for "the Colored Race" and also on rights for women. She founded YMCA Sunday Schools, and she was a leader in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She joined the American Equal Rights Association and the American Women's Suffrage Association, working with the branch of the women's movement that worked for both racial and women's equality.
In 1893, a group of women gathered in connection with the World's Fair as the World's Congress of Representative Women. Harper joined with others including Fannie Barrier Williams to charge those organizing the gathering with excluding African American women.
Harper's address at the Columbian Exposition was on "Women's Political Future."
Realizing the virtual exclusion of black women from the suffrage movement, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper joined with others to form the National Association of Colored Women. She became the first vice-president of the organization.
Anna Arnold Hedgeman[rebelmouse-image 18362078 is_animated_gif=
Anna Arnold Hedgeman (7/5/1899 - 1/17/1990) lifetime of accomplishments included many firsts:
- First black woman to graduate from Hamline University (1922) - the university now has a scholarship named for her
- First black woman to serve on a New York City mayoral cabinet (1954-1958)
- First black person to hold a Federal Security Agency position
Anna Arnold Hedgeman was also the only woman on the executive committee that organized Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous March on Washington in 1963. Patrik Henry Bass called her "instrumental in organizing the march" and "the conscience of the march". When Anna Arnold Hedgeman realized there were going to be no female speakers at the event, she protested the minimal recognition of women who were civil rights heroes. She succeeded in persuading the committee that this oversight was a mistake, which led eventually to Daisy Bates being invited to speak that day at the Lincoln Memorial.
Anna Arnold Hedgeman served temporarily as the first executive vice-president of NOW. Aileen Hernandez, who had been serving on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was elected executive vice-president in absentia when the first NOW officers were selected in 1966. Anna Arnold Hedgeman served as temporary executive vice-president until Aileen Hernandez officially stepped down from the EEOC and took the NOW position in March 1967.
Anna Arnold Hedgeman was the first chair of NOW's Task Force on Women in Poverty. In her 1967 task force report, she called for a meaningful expansion of economic opportunities for women and said there were no jobs or opportunities for women "at the bottom of the heap" to move into. Her suggestions included job training, job creation, regional and city planning, attention to high school dropouts and an end to the ignoring of women and girls in federal job and poverty-related programs.
In addition to NOW, Anna Arnold Hedgeman was involved with organizations including the YWCA, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Urban League, the National Council of Churches' Commission on Religion and Race and the National Council for a Permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission. She ran for Congress and president of the New York City Council, drawing attention to social issues even when she lost the elections.
Mae Jemison[rebelmouse-image 18362079 is_animated_gif=
Dr. Mae C. Jemison (10/17/1956 - ) is a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher, NASA astronaut, and actor. Over the course of her career, she has worked in engineering and medical research, and was invited to be part of a Star Trek: Next Generation episode, becoming the first NASA astronaut to also serve in the fictional Starfleet.
In addition to her extensive background in science, Mae is well-versed in African and African-American studies. As well as English, Mae speaks fluent Russian, Japanese, and Swahili and is trained in dance and choreography.
Mae attended Stanford University, where she earned a BS in Chemical Engineering. In 1981, she received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell University. While enrolled at Cornell Medical School, Dr. Jemison traveled to Cuba, Kenya and Thailand, providing primary medical care to the people living in these nations.
After graduating from Cornell, Dr. Jemison served in the Peace Corps, where she supervised the pharmacy, laboratory, medical staff as well as provided medical care, wrote self-care manuals, developed and implemented guidelines for health and safety issues.
Also working in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) she helped with research for various vaccines.
Dr. Jemison returned to the U.S., and worked with CIGNA Health Plans of California as a general practitioner. She enrolled in graduate classes in engineering and applied to NASA for admission to the astronaut program.
She joined the corps in 1987 and successfully completed her astronaut training, becoming the fifth black astronaut and the first black female astronaut in NASA history. She was the science mission specialist on STS-47, a cooperative mission between the U.S. and Japan. Dr. Jemison was a co-investigator on the bone cell research experiment flown on the mission.
Mae left NASA in 1993. She is currently a professor at Cornell University and is a proponent of science education in the schools, particularly encouraging minority students to pursue STEM careers. She founded the Jemison Group to research and develop technology for daily life, and is heavily involved in the 100 Year Starship Project. She also created BioSentient Corp, a company aimed at developing portable technology to monitor the nervous system, with an eye toward treating a variety of related disorders and illnesses.
Florynce Kennedy[rebelmouse-image 18362080 is_animated_gif=
Florynce Rae "Flo" Kennedy (2/11/1916 - 12/21/2000) was an American lawyer, feminist, civil rights advocate, lecturer and activist.
In 1944 she began classes at Columbia University School of General Studies, majoring in pre-law and graduated in 1949. However, when she applied to the university's law school, she was refused admission. In her autobiography Kennedy wrote: "The Associate Dean, Willis Reese, told me I had been rejected not because I was a Black but because I was a woman. So I wrote him a letter saying that whatever the reason was, it felt the same to me, and some of my more cynical friends thought I had been discriminated against because I was Black."
Kennedy met with the dean and threatened to sue the school. They admitted her. She was the only black person among eight women in her class. In a 1946 sociology class at Columbia University Kennedy wrote a paper that analogized the discourses of race and sex. "Kennedy hoped that comparing 'women' and 'Negroes' would hasten the formation of alliances".
Kennedy graduated from Columbia Law School in 1951.
By 1954 she had opened her own office, doing matrimonial work, and some assigned criminal cases. She was a member of the Young Democrats. In 1956, she formed a legal partnership with the lawyer who had represented Billie Holiday in regards to drug charges. Kennedy then came to represent Holiday's estate, and also that of Charlie Parker.
Kennedy used Intersectionality as her approach to activism.
"My main message is that we have a pathologically, institutionally racist, sexist, classist society. And that niggerizing techniques that are used don't only damage black people, but they also damage women, gay people, ex-prison inmates, prostitutes, children, old people, handicapped people, native Americans. And that if we can begin to analyze the pathology of oppression... we would learn a lot about how to deal with it." Kennedy kept revisiting the same aim: "urging women to examine the sources of their oppression". She spoke of day to day acts of resistance that we can all take. Kennedy summed up her protest strategy as "Making white people nervous".
Elizabeth Key[rebelmouse-image 18362081 is_animated_gif=
In 1656, Elizabeth Key made history when she sued for her and her son John's freedom in Virginia and won. Elizabeth was the daughter of an Englishman, Thomas Key, and an unnamed African slave. on July 21, 1656, the court found that Elizabeth Key and her son John were in fact free persons.
She married her lawyer, and John's father William Grinstead. Elizabeth had a second son by Grinstead, named William Grinstead II. Grinstead died in 1661, after only five years of marriage. Elizabeth then married another English settler named John Parse or Pearce. When he died, he left 500 acres to Elizabeth and her sons, which allowed them to live out their lives in peace.
There are many descendants of Elizabeth and William Grinstead, including a number of famous people.
Wangari Maathai[rebelmouse-image 18362082 is_animated_gif=
Wangari Muta Maathai (1/1/1940 - 9/25/2011) Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya in 1977, which has planted more than 10 million trees to prevent soil erosion and provide firewood for cooking fires. A 1989 United Nations report noted that only 9 trees were being replanted in Africa for every 100 that were cut down, causing serious problems with deforestation: soil runoff, water pollution, difficulty finding firewood, lack of animal nutrition, etc.
The program has been carried out primarily by women in the villages of Kenya, who through protecting their environment and through the paid employment for planting the trees are able to better care for their children and their children's future.
Born in 1940 in Nyeri, Wangari Maathai was able to pursue higher education, a rarity for girls in rural areas of Kenya. Studying in the United States, she earned her biology degree from Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas and a master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh.
When she returned to Kenya, Wangari Maathai worked in veterinary medicine research at the University of Nairobi, and eventually, despite the skepticism and even opposition of the male students and faculty, was able to earn a Ph.D. there. She worked her way up through the academic ranks, becoming head of the veterinary medicine faculty, a first for a woman at any department at that university.
Wangari Maathai's husband ran for Parliament in the 1970s, and Wangari Maathai became involved in organizing work for poor people and eventually this became a national grass-roots organization, providing work and improving the environment at the same time. The project has made significant headway against Kenya's deforestation.
Wangari Maathai continued her work with the Green Belt Movement, and working for environmental and women's causes. She also served as national chairperson for the National Council of Women of Kenya.
In 1997 Wangari Maathai ran for the presidency of Kenya, though the party withdrew her candidacy a few days before the election without letting her know; she was defeated for a seat in Parliament in the same election.
In 1998, Wangari Maathai gained worldwide attention when the Kenyan President backed development of a luxury housing project and building began by clearing hundreds of acres of Kenya forest.
In 1991, Wangari Maathai was arrested and imprisoned; an Amnesty International letter-writing campaign helped free her. In 1999 she suffered head injuries when attacked while planting trees in the Karura Public Forest in Nairobi, part of a protest against continuing deforestation.
She was arrested numerous times by the government of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi.
In January, 2002, Wangari Maathai accepted a position as Visiting Fellow at Yale University's Global Institute for Sustainable Forestry.
And in December, 2002, Wangari Maathai was elected to Parliament, as Mwai Kibaki defeated Maathai's long-time political nemesis, Daniel arap Moi, for 24 years the President of Kenya. Kibaki named Maathai as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife in January, 2003.
Wangari Maathai died in Nairobi in 2011 of cancer.
Nichelle Nichols[rebelmouse-image 18362083 is_animated_gif=
Nichelle Nichols, born Grace Dell Nichols (12/28/1932 - ) is an American actress, singer, voice artist, and NASA ambassador. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting.
Her most famous role is in the popular Star Trek television series (1966--1969), as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where she played communications officer Lieutenant, then Commander, Nyota Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise. Nichols' role was groundbreaking as one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant. She also worked to recruit diverse astronauts to NASA, including women and ethnic minorities. From the late 1970's until the late 1980's, NASA employed Nichelle to recruit new astronaut candidates. Many of her new recruits were women or members of racial and ethnic minorities, including Guion Bluford (the first African-American astronaut), Sally Ride (the first female American astronaut), Judith Resnik (one of the original set of female astronauts, and Ronald McNair (the second African-American astronaut who perished during the launch of the Challenger on January 28, 1986).
Maria W. Stewart[rebelmouse-image 18362084 is_animated_gif=
Maria W. Stewart (1803(?) - 12/17/1879) began supporting herself at 15 by working as a servant. In 1826 she married James W. Stewart.
With her marriage, Maria became part of Boston's small free black middle class. She became involved in some of the institutions founded by that black community, including the Massachusetts General Colored Association, which worked for immediate abolition of slavery.
James died in 1829, but the inheritance he left was taken from Maria through long legal action by the white executors of her husband's will, and she was left with nothing.
Maria was inspired by the African American abolitionist, David Walker. When he died six months after her husband, she went through a religious conversion. She became convinced God was calling her to become a "warrior for God and for freedom and for the cause of oppressed Africa." Maria connected with abolitionist publisher William Lloyd Garrison when he advertised for writings by black women. She came to his paper's office with several essays on religion, racism and slavery. In 1831 Garrison published her first essay, Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality.
She also began public speaking at a time when Biblical injunctions against women teaching were interpreted to prohibit women speaking in public, especially to audiences that included men. Frances Wright had created a public scandal by speaking in public in 1828.
For her first address, in 1832, Maria spoke before a women-only audience at the African American Female Intelligence Society, an institution founded by the free black community of Boston. She used the Bible to defend her right to speak, and spoke on both religion and justice, advocating activism for equality. The text of the talk was published in Garrison's newspaper on April 28, 1832.
On September 21, 1832, Maria delivered a second lecture, this time to an audience that included men. She spoke at Franklin Hall, the site of the New England Anti-Slavery Society meetings. In her speech, she questioned whether free blacks were much more free than slaves, given the lack of opportunity and equality. She also questioned the move to send free blacks back to Africa.
Garrison published more of her writings and the text of her speeches in his abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. In 1832, Garrison published more of her writings as Meditations from the Pen of Mrs. Maria Stewart.
On February 27, 1833, Maria delivered her third public lecture, "African Rights and Liberty."
Her fourth and final Boston lecture was a "Farewell Address" on September 21, 1833. She addressed the negative reaction her public speaking provoked, expressing both her dismay at having little effect, and her sense of divine call to speak publicly. Then she moved to New York.
In 1835, Garrison published a pamphlet with her four speeches plus some essays and poems titled Productions of Mrs. Maria W. Stewart. These inspired other women to begin public speaking.
In New York, Stewart remained an activist, attending the 1837 Women's Anti-slavery Convention. A strong advocate for literacy and educational opportunities for African Americans and women, she supported herself teaching in public schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn, becoming an assistant to the principal of the Williamsburg School. She was also active in a black women's literary group.
Mary Church Terrell[rebelmouse-image 18362085 is_animated_gif=
Mary Church Terrell (9/23/1863 - 7/24/1954) was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the same year President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Her mother was a hair salon operator. They lived in a mostly-white neighborhood and young Mary was protected from most experiences of racism, although her father was shot during the Memphis race riots of 1866. It was not until she was five, hearing stories from her grandmother about slavery, that she became conscious of African American history.
Her parents divorced and her mother had custody. In 1873, the family sent her north to Yellow Springs and then Oberlin for school. Terrell split her summers between visiting her father in Memphis and her mother in New York City. Terrell graduated from Oberlin College, one of the few integrated colleges in the country, in 1884. She had taken the "gentleman's course" rather than the easier, shorter women's program.
Mary moved back to Memphis to live with her father, but her father opposed her working. When he remarried, Mary accepted a teaching position in Xenia, Ohio, and then another in Washington, DC. After completing her masters degree at Oberlin while living in Washington, she spent two years traveling in Europe with her father. In 1890, she returned to teach at the Washington, DC school.
She renewed her friendship with her supervisor at the school, Robert Heberton Terrell. They married in 1891. Mary left her employment upon marriage. Robert Terrell was admitted to the bar in 1883 in Washington and, from 1911 to 1925, taught law at Howard University. He served as a judge of the District of Columbia Municipal Court from 1902 to 1925. The first three children Mary bore died shortly after birth. Her daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1898. In the meantime, Mary had become very active in social reform and volunteer work, including working with black women's organizations and for women's suffrage in the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Susan B. Anthony and she became friends. Mary also worked for kindergartens and child care, especially for children of working mothers.
Excluded from full participation in planning with other women for activities at the 1893 World's Fair, Mary threw her efforts into building up black women's organizations that would work to end both gender and racial discrimination.
She helped engineer the merger of black women's clubs to form the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in 1896. She was its first president, serving in that capacity until 1901, when she was appointed honorary president for life.
During the 1890s, Mary's increasing skill in and recognition for public speaking led her to take up lecturing as a profession. She became a friend of and worked with W.E.B. DuBois, and he invited her to become one of the charter members when the NAACP was founded.
Mary also served on the Washington, DC school board, from 1895 to 1901 and again from 1906 to 1911, the first African American woman to serve on that body. In 1910, she helped found the College Alumni Club.
In the 1920s, Mary worked with the Republican National Committee on behalf of women and African Americans.
Widowed when her husband died in 1925, Mary continued her lecturing, volunteer work, and activism.
In 1940 she published her autobiography, A Colored Woman in a White World. In her last years, she picketed and worked in the campaign to end discrimination in Washington, DC.
A'Lelia Walker[rebelmouse-image 18362086 is_animated_gif=
A'Lelia Walker (6/6/1885 - 8/16/1931) born Lelia McWilliams in Mississippi moved with her mother, Madam C. J. Walker, to Saint Louis when A'Lelia was two years old. A'Lelia was well-educated though her mother was illiterate; her mother saw to it that A'Lelia attended college, at Knoxville College in Tennessee.
As her mother's beauty and hair care business grew, A'Lelia worked with her mother in the business. A'Lelia took charge of the mail order part of the business, working out of Pittsburgh.
In 1908, mother and daughter set up a beauty school in Pittsburgh to train women in the Walker method of hair processing. The operation was called Lelia College. Madam Walker moved the business headquarters to Indianapolis in 1900. A'Lelia Walker set up a second Lelia College in 1913, this one in New York.
After Madam Walker's death, A'Lelia Walker ran the business, becoming president in 1919. She renamed herself about the time of her mother's death. She built the large Walker Building in Indianapolis in 1928.
During the Harlem Renaissance, A'Lelia Walker hosted many parties that brought together artists, writers, and intellectuals. She held the parties in her New York townhouse apartment, called the Dark Tower, and at her country villa, Lewaro, originally owned by her mother.
Langston Hughes dubbed A'Lelia Walker the "joy goddess" of the Harlem Renaissance for her parties and patronage.
The parties ended with the beginning of the Great Depression, and A'Lelia Walker sold the Dark Tower in 1930.
The six-foot-tall A'Lelia Walker was married three times and had an adopted daughter, Mae.
A'Lelia Walker died in 1931. The eulogy at her funeral was delivered by the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. Mary McLeod Bethune also spoke at the funeral. Langston Hughes wrote a poem for the occasion, "To A'Lelia."
Maggie Lena Walker[rebelmouse-image 18362087 is_animated_gif=
Maggie Lena Walker (7/15/1867 - 12/15/1934) was the daughter of Elizabeth Draper, who had been enslaved in her early years. Draper worked as a cook's assistant in the home of the noted Civil War spy Elizabeth Van Lew. Maggie Walker's father was Eccles Cuthbert, an Irish journalist and Northern abolitionist.
Maggie attended school in Richmond, Virginia's segregated schools. Maggie graduated from Colored Normal School in 1883. A protest by the ten African American students over being forced to graduate in a church led to a compromise allowing them to graduate at their school.
It was not Maggie's first involvement in something beyond the ordinary for a young girl. In high school, she joined a fraternal organization in Richmond, the Independent Order of St. Luke Society (IOSLS). This organization provided health insurance and burial benefits for members and was involved in self-help and racial pride activities. Maggie Walker helped form a juvenile division of the Society.
Maggie married Armstead Walker, jr., after meeting him at church. She gave up her job, as expected for teachers at the time. While raising their children, she put more efforts into volunteer work with the IOSLS. She was elected Secretary in 1899, at a time the Society was on the brink of failing. Instead, Maggie Walker took on a major membership drive, lecturing not only in and around Richmond but around the country. She built it up to more than 100,000 members in more than 20 states.
In 1903, Maggie Walker saw an opportunity for the Society and formed a bank, the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, and served as president of the bank until 1932. This made her the first (known) woman bank president in the United States.
She also led the Society to more self-help programs and philanthropic efforts, founded an African American newspaper in 1902 for which she wrote a column for many years, and lectured extensively on race and women's issues.
In 1905, the Walkers moved into a large home in Richmond, which after her death became a national historic site maintained by the National Parks Service. In 1907, a fall at her home caused permanent nerve damage. She had trouble walking the rest of her life, leading to the nickname, the Lame Lioness.
In the 1910s and 1920s, Maggie served on a number of organizational boards, including the executive committee of the National Association of Colored Women and more than 10 years on the board of the NAACP.
In 1921, Maggie ran as a Republican for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. By 1928, between her old injury and diabetes, she was wheelchair-bound.
In 1931, with the Depression, Maggie helped merge her bank with several other African American banks, into the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. With her ill health, she retired as bank president and became board chair of the merged bank.
Ida B Wells-Barnett[rebelmouse-image 18362088 is_animated_gif=
Ida B. Wells-Barnett (7/16/1862 - 3/25/1931) was an anti-lynching activist, a journalist, a lecturer, and an activist for racial justice.
Born into slavery, Ida went to work as a teacher to support her family after her parents died in an epidemic.
In 1880, after seeing her brothers placed as apprentices, she moved with her two younger sisters to live with a relative in Memphis. There, she obtained a teaching position at a black school, and began taking classes at Fisk University in Nashville during summers. Ida also began writing for the Negro Press Association. She became editor of a weekly, Evening Star, and then of Living Way, writing under the pen name Iola. Her articles were reprinted in other black newspapers around the country.
In 1884, while riding in the ladies' train car on a trip to Nashville, Ida was forcibly removed from that car and forced into a colored-only car, even though she had a first class ticket. She sued the railroad and won a settlement of $500. But in 1887, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the verdict and Ida had to pay court costs of $200.
She wrote on racial justice for Memphis newspapers as a reporter and newspaper owner.
Lynching in that time had become one common means by which African Americans were intimidated. Nationally, in about 200 lynchings each year, about two-thirds of the victims were black men, but the percentage was much higher in the South.
Ida wrote against lynching in general. In particular, the white community became incensed when she published an editorial denouncing the myth that black men raped white women and her allusion to the idea that white women might consent to a relationship with black men was particularly offensive to the white community. She was forced to leave town when a mob attacked her offices in retaliation for writing against an 1892 lynching.
Ida was out of town when a mob invaded her paper's offices and destroyed the presses, responding to a call in a white-owned paper. Ida heard that her life was threatened if she returned, so she went to New York.
Ida continued writing newspaper articles at New York Age, where she exchanged the subscription list of Memphis Free Speech for a part ownership in the paper. She also wrote pamphlets and spoke widely against lynching.
In 1893, Ida went to Great Britain, returning again in 1894. There, she spoke about lynching in America, found significant support for anti-lynching efforts, and saw the organization of the British Anti-Lynching Society.
She moved to Chicago, where she worked with Frederick Douglass and local lawyer and editor Frederick Barnett on an 81-page booklet about the exclusion of black participants from most of the events around the Columbian Exposition. Ida married Barnett and became involved in local racial justice reporting and organizing. She also wrote for his newspaper, the Chicago Conservator.
In 1895 Ida published A Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynchings in the United States 1892 - 1893 - 1894. She documented that lynchings were not, indeed, caused by black men raping white women.
From 1898-1902, Ida served as secretary of the National Afro-American Council. In 1898, she was part of a delegation to President William McKinley to seek justice after the lynching in South Carolina of a black postman.
In 1900, she spoke for women's suffrage and worked with another Chicago woman, Jane Addams, to defeat an attempt to segregate Chicago's public school system.
In 1901, the Barnetts bought the first house east of State Street to be owned by a black family. Despite harassment and threats, they continued to live in the neighborhood.
Ida was a founding member of the NAACP in 1909, but withdrew her membership, criticizing the organization for not being militant enough. In her writing and lectures, she often criticized middle-class blacks including ministers for not being active enough in helping the poor in the black community.
In 1910, Ida helped found and became president of the Negro Fellowship League, which established a settlement house in Chicago to serve the many African Americans newly arrived from the South. She worked for the city as a probation officer from 1913-1916, donating most of her salary to the organization. But with competition from other groups, the election of an unfriendly city administration, and Ida's poor health, the League closed its doors in 1920.
In 1913, Ida organized the Alpha Suffrage League, an organization of African American women supporting women's suffrage. She was active in protesting the strategy of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the largest pro-suffrage group, on participation of African Americans and how they treated racial issues. The NAWSA generally made participation of African Americans invisible - even while claiming that no African American women had applied for membership - so as to try to win votes for suffrage in the South. By forming the Alpha Suffrage League, Ida made clear that the exclusion was deliberate, and that African American women and men did support woman suffrage, even knowing that other laws and practices that barred African American men from voting would also affect women.
A major suffrage demonstration in Washington, DC, timed to align with the presidential inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, asked that African American supporters march at the back of the line. Many African American suffragists, like Mary Church Terrell, agreed, for strategic reasons after initial attempts to change the minds of the leadership -- but not Ida. She inserted herself into the march with the Illinois delegation, after the march started, and the delegation welcomed her. The leadership of the march simply ignored her action.
Also in 1913, Ida was part of a delegation to see President Wilson to urge non-discrimination in federal jobs. She was elected as chair of the Chicago Equal Rights League in 1915, and in 1918 organized legal aid for victims of the Chicago race riots of 1918.
In 1915, she was part of the successful election campaign that led to Oscar Stanton De Priest becoming the first African American alderman in the city.
She was also part of founding the first kindergarten for black children in Chicago.
In 1924, Ida failed in a bid to win election as president of the National Association of Colored Women, defeated by Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1930, she failed in a bid to be elected to the Illinois State Senate as an independent.
Although anti-lynching was her main focus, and she did achieve considerable visibility of the problem, she never achieved her goal of federal anti-lynching legislation. Her lasting success was in the area of organizing black women.
Reddit user Nuff-Do asked: "People that had sex with coworkers - how did that turn out ?'
We've all heard that love and work do not mix, and we've definitely heard that we shouldn't take relationships or friendships with coworkers to the next level.
Between having our work, our jobs, our income, and maybe even our reputations on the line, there's simply too much at risk.
But maybe sometimes, the affair won't turn out quite the way we expected.
Redditor Nuff-Do asked:
"People who had sex with coworkers, how did that turn out?"
Rewarded with a Trip to Italy
"I was a young Airman at my first base in California and I worked with a girl (let's call her Sarah) who was way more attractive than anyone my small-town Missouri a** had ever hooked up with before."
"For some reason, she was into me. She was into a few other dudes too, but at the time it didn't matter because I was 19 and stupid and she was a few years older and far more sexually experienced than I was. We had sex a few times and sort of 'dated,' but it didn't really go anywhere and I was heartbroken but cool with it."
"This was right after 9/11, so U.S. military operations were starting to ramp up and Sarah got deployment orders. They didn't tell her where she was going, but she was on the hook."
"Her reaction to the news was to tell our Chief that she was pregnant with my kid so she didn't have to go. I knew she wasn't pregnant and just using it as an excuse not to deploy."
"The Chief came to me and asked if I'd go in her place. As I said, I was 19 and even though I was a little scared, I signed the dotted line and told him of course I'd take the deployment."
"It turns out, the 'deployment' was to a NATO base in Naples Italy where I'd be paid about 80 dollars per day per diem on top of my normal paycheck."
"As soon as Sarah found out where I was headed, she called the Chief and told him she wasn't pregnant anymore and would like to take the deployment."
"The Chief denied her request and I spent an amazing eight months in Italy, being paid more money than I knew how to spend and having the time of my life."
Watching Them Move On
"We met thru work and dated for one and a half years. She cheated with another coworker who is married. We broke up. She started to date a different coworker. Not the married one. She paraded that relationship in my face."
"Everything was great until it wasn't. It really f**ked over my self-esteem and self-worth for years. It sucked that I had front row seat to her moving on."
"I feel that last part. When my ex moved out, she did it slowly over the course of like a month. She came over every day and packed up slowly until she finally got everything."
"The worst day was when she finally came and took her cat. I still remember sitting in front of the door and crying for hours after she left that day."
"There's a band called Pedro the Lion that has this lyric, 'My old man always swore that hell would have no flame. Just a front-row seat to watch your true love pack her things and drive away.'"
"When I kicked my ex out this summer for having cheated on me, I gave her an arguably unfair timeline to leave before all of her possessions just went outside, and packed and moved everything for her to the garage overnight, since I couldn't sleep anyways."
"This is why. I simply couldn't handle those constant reminders and wanted it done and gone as fast as possible."
A Messy Breakup
"I had resigned and was leaving the company anyway but it was one of those classic hookups at a company party. We had fun for a while but then she decided to stop seeing me."
"I'm glad I had left the company by then; otherwise, things would have been messy."
A Huge Theft Ring
"I got fired and she got fired and all 20 guys she f**ked while we were dating were fired."
"I got fired under false allegations because she was my girlfriend and she was stealing from the store."
"She got fired for stealing from the store."
"The other 20 were fired because it was brought up that she was stealing and sleeping with managers and other coworkers while in a relationship with me. They thought that me and her were the center of a theft ring."
"Like, no... I don't steal so."
A Promotion for Everyone
"So my wife of over 10 years, who had cheated in the past and I forgave her, got a huge promotion at work which caused us to relocate."
"I guess she got tired of me because she kicked me out and we were getting a divorce."
"Four months later, I found out that a co-worker had a thing for me, so I took my shot. The sex was amazing. It could be that it’s been a long time for me since sex with the wife was basically non-existent for the last few years of marriage."
"Me and the co-worker have now been dating for over a year and I haven’t been happier. So for me, it worked out for the best. And the sex is still great!"
Too Many Options
"I worked at a casino as the only male cocktail waiter/bartender (roughly eight cocktail waitresses and four female bartenders). The floor was mostly women between the bar, servers, restaurant, and dealers."
"I slept with one of the cocktail waitresses for a couple of months even though I knew I had a bigger crush on her than she did on me. I also knew I didn't really want a relationship with her for a couple of reasons."
"Evidently, she told some people and gave me good reviews. After she quit and moved away, I had more interest than I really knew what to do with and kinda just went for it with anyone who showed interest that I was attracted to as I knew I had no more than a year left there no matter what happened. I ended up with four more of them over the course of a couple of months."
"One time on a shift, I looked around and all four were on the floor somewhere. All knew each other but I'm not sure any knew about the whole situation, and none were any false impressions of a relationship as far as I know so nothing bad came of it."
A Family Man
"Not me, but she was working in payroll and he was a security guard. One day, a coworker saw the security guard walking her to her car. Immediately, she was transferred to another branch. However, they continued to see each other."
"Soon after, they got married after finding out she got pregnant. In the next five years, they had three daughters, with me being the youngest. My dad ended up passing away from brain cancer when I was just a toddler."
The Downfall of a Friendship
"I had one good experience one bad. The first one we ended up dating for a year and a half. We had a ton of fun sneaking around at work, and even though in the end he totally broke my heart, it wasn't a bad experience."
"The second one was very bad. Do not recommend."
"I thought he would be safer because we were friends, so I figured communication and rules would be no problem. Instead, we didn't communicate at all because we were both so worried about hurting each other's feelings."
"It ended badly with major assumptions on both ends and now it's very awkward and uncomfortable."
"It makes me sad because honestly, I just miss my friend. While the experience can be fun, I don't recommend it."
A Suspicious Relocation
"Pretty fine. We worked at different locations in the company the first time we slept together, but we knew each other as she had trained at my location."
"One night we ran into each other at the bar and one thing led to another. A couple of months later, I ended up getting transferred to the location she was at and we just acted like it never happened."
"After a month or two of working together, we ran into each other again at the same bar, and history repeated itself."
"There was a slightly awkward moment a couple of days later when I had to find a way to give her back the necklace she'd left at my place without anybody noticing, but other than that, our working relationship didn't change at all."
Messy Feelings Everywhere
"First time: super fun but I got more attached than she did."
"Second time: kinda fun but she got more attached than I did."
"Moral of the story: don’t f**k coworkers unless you’re SUPER SURE."
"We dated for over a year and then one day she randomly decided to break my heart. Thankfully, we had stopped working together by that point. It still makes me tear up thinking about her, though."
Best Decision Ever
"We had an instant connection the moment she joined the foundation I had been working at for a year. We worked at the front desk together and we got to know each other very quickly."
"Neither of us enjoyed small talk and we would get angry emails from our unbelievably incompetent manager about the amount of laughter coming from the front desk. We got all of our work done, and then some, our manager just felt like she was getting left out. Which our manager was, but it was because she sucked."
"I worked from home four days a week before my new coworker started and a few weeks later she asked me why I was coming in every day. I told her something about training her how to answer the phones, which she instantly knew was bullsh*t (we got four calls a day, max)."
"The first time we hung out outside of work we told each other it would be a terrible idea to date. That lasted for about 10 days. The next time we hung out we slept together."
"That was a year and a half ago."
"We left the foundation after she told our manager that her 'management style' was untenable in an email. The two of us then called a meeting with her and we laid out a very well-planned strategy for departmental growth and change."
"Our manager nodded her head the whole meeting and told us how proud of us she was for taking ownership of our careers and how excited she was to implement our new plan."
"Three weeks later, they fired my coworker. They pushed me out, telling me that they no longer had a place for me (at my review the previous year, the CEO told me herself that she believed I had CEO potential)."
"We both have new jobs, she is a high school English teacher at one of the best high schools in the country and I became a private investigator."
"Her dad and I go to college football games together and our moms get lunch and do spa dates."
"We have been showing each other how to heal and grow as individuals and as partners."
"Right now, she's sleeping in my bedroom while I type this in the living room. I don't know what the future holds for us but I do know that she's the love of my life."
"Sleeping with my coworker is the best thing I've ever done."
"Marry this girl already."
Redefining the Coworker
"Pretty good. We have a kid together. Granted we'd been married for seven years before we became coworkers."
"She always wanted to teach at the same school as me. The school grew enough that it needed a dedicated English teacher. She has a master's in it so it worked out."
A Slow Transition
"We worked together for a couple of years and became close friends before we crossed the romance line one night after a lot of drinks. Honestly, it was and still is amazing. Happily married now over 15 years with two kids."
A Bartender's Love Story
"She's sleeping next to me, cuddling our cat."
"Turns out our chemistry working behind the bar together was also amazing outside of work."
We've all heard that love and work don't mix, and that we absolutely shouldn't get close to our coworkers, but from these Redditors, it seems that while things could get messy, sometimes it's worth the risk.
When we're young and naive, we tend to be optimistic as we have our whole lives ahead of us and we have to time to figure out who we are and who we want to be.
But when we're all grown up and out in the big world on our own, nothing can prepare us for the harsh realities of adulting until we experience them.
And unfortunately, life isn't always sunshine and roses the way we imagined it to be when we were much more innocent.
Curious to hear about life's many wake up calls Redditor Just_Surround_2108 asked:
"What is the adult version of finding out that Santa Claus doesn't exist?"
Life's deceptions begin slowly revealing themselves.
"When you buy an 8-piece tupperware set, 4 of the pieces are lids."
"Same with pots and pans. What a rip off!"
"And when you put them in the cabinet, suddenly SIX of the pieces are lids 😂"
Value Of Friendships
"That some friends were never really your friend."
"Also that friendships can end just like any relationship."
"The best friend I'll ever have said some nasty things to me and blocked me recently. Never going to get much closure on that front."
"Not having closure is, with both friends and lovers, worse than the loss itself. I want to grow. Tell me what I need to become so this doesn't happen to me again!"
"On a related note: your co-workers are not your friends."
"I think most people seem to treat this as the default stance, but I’ve learnt you can actually make deep connections amongst coworkers, the same way you do in other stages of your life."
The role of parent and child unexpectedly switches. So now what?
Who's Parenting Who
"That time period when your relationship switches and your parent looks to you for answers and advice, instead them being the one with all the answers."
"Not sure about that one. Dad simultaneously says I’m the smartest person he knows and I don’t know how to do anything lol."
"When both your parents die. I am in my mid 50’s and had my mom pass on Mother’s Day ‘22. My Dad then was living with us from then, and eventually reached in-home hospice status with a sudden stage IV cancer diagnosis. He died in January of this year, and then I got laid off from my tech job and was unemployed for 10 months. Nothing takes the wonderment and positive outlook from the world than having to empty out your childhood home solo and throw everything you grew up with into a big dumpster and are left to wonder what our lives really mean."
Leaving Behind The House You Grew Up In
"I’m in the process of dismantling my childhood home right now. I’ve compared it to dismembering the dead body of a loved one. It’s really rough."
"my mum sold my childhood home a decade ago. i won't have to go through that."
We all want to grow up when we're young. But as soon as reach reach 30, we want to slam on the breaks.
"I thought I'd grow up, move out, find my footing in the grown up world and basically switch into cruise mode. Now I'm in my 40s and sh*t is confusing as f'k."
"As adults, nobody knows what they're doing, we're just pretending we do."
Misconception Behind Work Integrity
"Being a hard worker and good at your job doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be rewarded for it."
And the laziest person at work is allowed to be lazy, but the hardest worker isn’t allowed a break."
We Are Our Parents
"Finding out that your parents are people, too, with weaknesses or flaws that you were blind to when you were young."
"And the day you suddenly notice how old they are. When their mortality finally hits you."
Living On Borrowed Time
"Yep had that day earlier this month. Was visiting for dad's 75th birthday."
"As I was leaving, out in the sunshine and fixing to get in the truck, I suddenly saw how small and frail-looking they are now. Mom hit me the hardest. She's started to shrink. They are both healthy, but Dad's just . . . worn."
"Been also doing the math lately. The math where you count up how many times you see them a year and then multiply that by how many years they have left according to the average."
"I've had enough crap and surprise losses in my life that I've long since started parting with family and friends like it might be the last time I get to see them. But that times left to see them calculation really clobbers me with my folks, and it's not even that bad yet for me. Given the ages of my grandparents when they passed I've probably still got somewhere between 150-200 visits."
"But the meter is running."
I'm at the point where I'm realizing there are no handbooks on life and taking care of our parents.
When you're so used to having them there and taking care of you your whole life, nothing can prepare you for the time when that role reversal happens.
As tough as that may be, however, there's nothing more beautiful in life than returning the favor for the people who loved you unconditionally and raised you.
It's not attractive to gloat.
And there is little more obnoxious than flaunting how wealthy you are.
Particularly if you aren't even that wealthy to begin with.
Indeed, perhaps to make themselves feel more powerful and important than they actually are, many people will try and show off how much money they have in what they wear, eat, live in, and drive.
However, not everyone is so easily fooled, as those in the know can detect a charlatan when they see one.
Redditor aloe_veracity16 was eager to hear the dead giveaways that someone might not be as wealthy as they appear, leading them to ask:
"What’s a dead giveaway that someone is not actually as wealthy as they claim?"
Stating The Obvious...
"When they constantly talk about how wealthy they are."
"A genius doesn't need to tell you they are smart."
"An athlete doesn't need to tell you they are fit."
"And a rich person shouldn't need to tell you they are wealthy."- TigLyon
Attracting Unwanted Attention...
"90% of the wealthy shut the f**k about it, because they learn once they start making good money everyone wants a piece."
"Talking about it constantly = broke AF."- Vladtehwood
Simply By Doing It...
"Making the claim at all is a dead giveaway."- Starfox41
In Plain Sight...
"People who actually ARE wealthy mostly try to hide it."- Matt7738
"Living In A Material World..."
"I'm not well-versed in judging someone's wealth, but I do notice that the fake rich only look rich on social media and try their hardest to go to popular locations celebrities post."
"I know a couple of friends of friends who took out a loan just to keep up the facade that they're all in on the latest iPhones and wearables."
"They built a persona of being a rich kid, so now they have to stay the course."- anima99
Flaunt Modesty, Not Wealth...
"As a person which knows many very rich people."
"I can guarantee that not a single one of them wants to be known as rich."- CompetitivePause9033Schitts Creek Flirt GIF by CBCGiphy
We Heard You The First Time!!!
"When they repeatedly and adamantly tell you how wealthy they are."- Famous_Bit_5119·
Experiences Over Stuff!
"I feel like actual rich people prioritize vacations/travel, buying their kids cars, paying for their kids/grandkids tuition."
"They don’t spend money on flashy or luxury stuff as much."- KleseaSummer Time GIF by Merge MansionGiphy
All In The Editing...
"Ever notice how those jet setting influencers that post their pictures out of the airplane window are behind the wing?"
"They're in coach."
"The picture in business is where they stopped to pose on the way through."- Turbulent-Ask-2633
"Private Jet pilot friend of mine said for the slightly wealthy they bring loads of luggage."
"The ultra rich bring a day bag they have enough money to buy clothes when they get there or already have clothes waiting on them."- hadmeatgotmilk
The Less Said...
"I never met a wealthy person that talks about it."
"They don't need to."- 181Eclipse·Christina Moses Secrets GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"See The Pyramid [SCHEMES!] Along The Way..."
"They make a goofy advertisement for some book or course that 'will help you get rich too!'"
"If they were actually rich, they would be on some tropical beach engaging in whatever vices they enjoy most-not hocking some get-rich-quick scheme."- illegalopinion3
All About The Simple Things...
"My dad's entire job is managing millionaire / billionaire philanthropy accounts, so I’ve grown up surrounded by some of the wealthiest people in the country."
"And I never knew until I got older how these 'Mr. Smith' and 'Ms. Jones' people that I’d grown up hanging out with were anything above upper middle class."
"Normal clothes, modest homes, very down to earth and funny people."
"Big wealth, and especially old wealth, is quiet wealth."- Travel_and_Tea·
Anything But Proud...
"I have a family member who insists she and her husband are upper middle class."
"She’s rich (8 figures), but it hurts her in some sort of primal way to acknowledge that."
"Her adult brother is also wealthy, although not as much as his sister."
"Likely also 8 figures."
"He insists he’s blue collar and middle class."
"There’s something in their upbringing that makes them ashamed of having 'made it' financially."- strangled_spaghettiBlue Collar Work GIF by Pudgy PenguinsGiphy
People will try to come off as wealthier than they are for a multitude of reasons.
But just like any facade, keeping it up eventually becomes untenable.
This is why it's always most important to be grateful for the things you have, rather than flaunt what you wish you had.
When it comes to dating, I have my mental checklist. The guy must be kind, intelligent, funny, and a movie buff. He must be adventurous but also doesn't mind a Netflix and Chill date night.
Most of this is similar to the mental checklists other people have. Of course, I can be flexible. If someone is nice and I'm having fun with them, they don't necessarily have to check all the boxes.
However, I have one specific dating restriction that is a dealbreaker regardless of how many boxes the person checks, and that's religion. I've never been a fan, and now I'm an atheist, and I would want my partner to be as well. That's because I want kids, and the last thing I want is for us to argue about how to raise the kids when it comes to religion.
I'm not the only person who has one specific dating restriction. Everyone has that one thing that is a dealbreaker when it comes to a romantic relationship. Redditors certainly do, and they are ready to share.
It all started when Redditor AceofSpadesYT asked:
"What is your most specific restriction when it comes to dating?"
It's Just A Joke!
"No cruel or rude pranks."
"I saw a post by someone whose boyfriend "pranked" her by pretending to be dead on the kitchen floor. That is exactly how she had found her previous partner, dead on the kitchen floor, which her current boyfriend knew. He was surprised she dumped him and didn't think it was funny."
We're (Not) Gonna Party!
"No party people. Nothing wrong with it, I just ain't dealing with that sh*t."
"True. I like planning weekend stuff, but it has to be something meaningful - visiting a different city, movie marathon, mountain hike, fancy lunch, all okay. But... clubbing and drinking? How f**king old are we, 19? No thank you, I'm old and have no energy for listening to music I don't like while being surrounded by 50 people that I don't give a single half of a sh*t about."
"Same sense of humor. I have 0 interest sharing physical space with someone who doesn't laugh with me."
My Ears Are Bleeding!
"I'm a light sleeper. I cannot date a snorer. I can hear snores through ear plugs AND a fan blowing. It's not you, it's me."
At that point, it does sound like them 😂
"Have a f**king job."
"Found this difficult when I was funemployed. Was fortunate enough to be able to live off savings for a bit."
"People reacted oddly to it. “But what do you do???”"
"Was dating at the same time and some girls had the same sentiment. “You don’t have a job?”"
"I had a good enough job that I didn’t need one anymore. And one lined up 8 months from then. But there were two girls specifically who treated it as a deal breaker."
"I had a similar situation. I worked a high-paying job for a few years that demanded a ton of my time and had crazy hours. It burnt me out badly and I lived off of the savings from that job for a while and tried to date now that I actually had free time. I had more money in my bank account during that time than at any other point in my life but so many people were put off by me being funemployed and assumed I was looking to leech. But I guess there’s really no way to know someone's history and hard not to assume. Now I work full-time and have way less money overall but it looks better..."
"No smoking. Ever. I'm not kissing an ashtray, or smelling an ashtray. Instant turn off."
"100% I broke up with an old gf because she started smoking behind my back knowing I’ve got asthma and it was always a hard pass. She thought I was joking but it showed me that she was also untrustworthy."
That'll Do It
"I guess my husband restricts my dating."
"My wife has the same rule. But the jokes on her, I get around it by dating her!"
"Must like dinosaurs."
"That goes without saying."
What's In A Name?
"Cannot have the same name as any of my relatives."
"My last ex had the same name as my Dad and I reeeeeeaally didn't like it. So, fair."
"If they’re rude to people they’ll never see again (Waitstaff, cashiers, etc) I’m out."
"I can’t respect anyone who doesn’t respect themselves, and when you’re not polite to people you’re disrespecting yourself."
God Only Knows
"When I was dating, you had to be an atheist. I don't mess with religion. And I genuinely just don't think atheists + religious people work out."
"And I know... There's going to be someone who comments (assuming there are enough upvotes) who says "I worked out with my spouse who's religious and I'm not!" but you're the exception. When it comes to making decisions long-term, how to spend your money, where you think you'll go after you die, not to mention basic morality (!), and if you have children - that's a huge hurdle."
"We worked it out. It's absolutely an exception and not the rule. Don't do it if you can avoid it."
Let's Move Tonight (Literally)
"They need to be ok with cold weather."
"I grew up in the north, live in the south, and I'm tolerating it until I can move back north. If someone says they hate the cold it's an instant turn-off because I don't want to drag someone into a climate they hate."
"The same thing also applies to walkability. I want to move somewhere walkable, and I hope to meet someone with that same goal rather than try to talk them into it."
"Let me know when you find this mythical northern walkable community."
My Purr-fect Match
"Cat has to approve."
"They need to be male. Kind of important."
"So weird, I want the complete opposite."
Yeah, the male thing is kind of important for me too!
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments.