THREE BLACK WOMEN OF DISTINCTION
The women I am blogging about are: Sophia Danenberg, Barbara Hillary, and Mae Jemison. Society is slowly recognizing women, but I am not sure if black women get a fair shake. Did you know that one of these names honours the first black woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest? A second name honours the first black woman to reach the North Pole and the third name proclaims a physician and astronaut.
Really we shouldn’t be identifying these women a “black” but just women, but when I taught high school, some of my Caribbean students could not name black female heroines with the exception of Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Naturally, they knew black women such as Oprah and black female entertainers.
Sophia Danenberg, born in 1972, in Homewood, Illinois to a Japanese mother and an African American father, she became the first black woman to climb Mount Everest. She did this on May 19, 2006. Sophia studied environmental sciences at Harvard University, and studied at Keio Univeristy, Tokyo as a Fulbright Fellow.
She is actually bi-racial, her father being an African American and her mother Japanese. She reached the summit of Everest on May 19, 2006.
Barbara Hillary, born in 1931 in Manhattan, was the first African-American to reach the North Pole. What is remarkable was that she did this feat at the age of seventy-five in 2007. She then reached the South Pole in January 2011 at the age of seventy-nine. Upon retirement at the age of sixty-two, Barbara decided to do something different. She is quoted as saying, “As long as you have reasonably good health, why make yourself old?”
Mae Jemison: She reached the record books as the first black woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. Born October 17, 1956, she qualified as a doctor and even starred as an actress in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is a dancer, and holds nine honorary degrees in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities.
It has been a pleasure to add these women of distinction to my site.