Women in Black History – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Women in Black History  – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

  • [The well-known names surface in the media when special events are celebrated. But how about those who made their contributions and are not in the limelight? The purpose of this article is to highlight the activities of these lesser known women so that readers can appreciate their work and legacies. ]
Dorothy Height (1912-2010)

Dorothy Height (1912-2010)

Light drives out darkness and love conquers hate. If the times aren’t ripe, then you have to ripen the times, Dorothy Height reminds us.

When one looks at the contributions of black women in history it becomes clear that they were undeniable sources of light and love. The literature is filled with examples of the rich and royal roles that black women have filled and how they were able to inspire others. We find that the impact of black women is often overlooked in the literature. Black women have housed, fed, cared for their families and faced the brunt of wars and pestilences. They have played important roles in freedom movements and in so doing inspired others to face the future with confidence. 

Over the years these women have held up the sky and have struggled against great odds to make a change in their communities. The history of the United States is filled with exciting stories of black women that have helped to raise political and social consciousness.

[Read more: Women in Black History – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine]

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  • Clyde Duncan  On 02/28/2015 at 2:19 pm

    Thank You, Doc Narine!! Here is cringe-worthy material from John Lennon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA8N0xy3hjE

    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 02/28/2015 at 2:55 pm

      Clyde, it’s the first time I’m hearing this song.

    • Thinker  On 02/28/2015 at 9:48 pm

      No wonder this song is not well known. It is offensive and downright stupid.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 02/28/2015 at 3:18 pm

    Hey, what about our own grandmothers – the nanee’s and ajee’s, the mai’s and big mai’s; the mamma’s and the N(y)an(y)a’s?
    I guess I am talking about trees in a forest.

    • Thinker  On 02/28/2015 at 9:54 pm

      Encourage Dr. Narine to write about them/ do so yourself, but don’t change the topic or imply that he shouldn’t be writing about black women.

  • detow  On 02/28/2015 at 3:38 pm

    Ron Persaud, there was none of your sort in the USA during the time of slavery and you should all be grateful that these black women, and all of the blacks who partook in the Civil Right Movement, put their lives on the line and made it possible for places like the Little India that are now flourishing in New York, Florida, etc., to exist.

    And before you go off on a racial tirade, be advised that this is not a racist statement, but a statement of fact.

    Confute this by naming ONE, just ONE Indian person/family who was ever enslaved in the USA.

    And by the way, my wife of almost 50 years is of East Indian heritage.

    Thanks Dr. Narine for highlighting the effort of previously unknown black female Civil Rights activists.

    • Thinker  On 02/28/2015 at 9:29 pm


      The Rosa Parks refusal was staged. This teenage girl’s was the real thing.

    • albert  On 03/01/2015 at 6:09 pm

      detow: “……you should all be grateful that these black women, and all of the blacks who partook in the Civil Right Movement, put their lives on the line and made it possible for places like the Little India that are now flourishing in New York, Florida, etc., to exist…..”
      You may have understated the success of East Indians in the U.S. Forget the little Indias. There are more Indian millionaires and professionals in the US than you may imagine.
      Afro Americans rejoice and celebrate the legacy of Dr King but what has been accomplished since his death, relative to other groups.

      • detow  On 03/01/2015 at 8:30 pm

        Albert, I would never, never underestimate the successes of Indians in the USA or anywhere else in the world as I have lived with, and have seen their dedication to self reliance, education, community support and the need to succeed at any cost.
        However, you my friend will never be able to understand the stigma of slavery and the suggestion that we are worthless and a burden to society.

        I would prefer not to dwell on the question of how many Indian millionaires there are in the USA as I believe that those numbers can be easily matched by millionaires of African descent but that is not really important, what is important, is the success of the non millionaire population. Although I believe that Indians may be the leaders in this respect, I know of many, many successful blacks who would not have made it without the sacrifice of freedom fighters such as Dr. King.

        But let us not digress. We return now to black improvement since the demise of Dr.King. Let me draw your attention to two great successes, Barak Obama and Condoleezza Rice. Rather than try to name all the successful ones I would rather leave the namings to your imagination as I am sure that you may be more up to date on American affairs than I am, but trust me, there are many.

        Over to you.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 02/28/2015 at 4:21 pm

    Rosaliene: A good reason to stick with Guyanese Online, eh??

    USA: http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/h_es/h_es_korit_histical.htm

    Canada: http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/kamagatamaru.html

    • detow  On 03/01/2015 at 1:23 am

      Truly good, informative articles which made known the struggles of Indians in the USA and Canada. However, their struggle still cannot be equated, in my mind, to what the blacks experienced in both locations.

      While it would appear that Indians had many avenues of recourse during their struggles, e.g. the right to leave, the right to protest, the right to own land (at least for a while), the right to earn wages, and many other rights that many others did not have, their struggles can in no way be equated to those of the blacks as the only rights that we had were to be captured and transported against our will to all parts of the world, sold like cattle, worked without pay and flogged, sometimes to death, if we refused to do as commanded, mutilated and/or killed if trying to escape, and generally being subjected to a way of life that no animal aught to have been expected to endure.

      However, when all is said and done, the one thing that we all have in common is the struggle of our forefathers/mothers against the evils that prevailed.

      • albert  On 03/02/2015 at 1:56 pm

        detow: “over to you” Sorry I did not expand sufficiently on the point I was making.
        I would argue that the achievement of Black America as a result of the civil rights legislation has been much less than reasonable. Like you many whites point to a black President as prove that black people have made it. The macro statistics tells an entirely different story: highest unemployment level, about the lowest in per capita income, ownership of less than one percent of Amercan business, about the highest school drop out for males……………..I forgot the percentage in prison, and about the failure of young blacks to vote. You tell me if Dr. King would be proud of this record if he were alive.

        Hope you are not one to say that white people or the system had had much to do with black achievement in America………then I will have to say that white people had much to do with the election of a black President and U.S. colleges are begging for students.

        By the way many argue that had there not been a Malcolm X we may never have had a Dr. King. The power that be had to decide between the direction each would lead the black brotherhood.

      • detow  On 03/03/2015 at 8:45 pm

        Albert, I believe that you are caught in the same trap as many who expected that after the civil rights movement of Dr. King’s days there would have been a great migration of blacks to exalted positions in the USA. Reality is that many do not understand the stigma and negative effect that slavery has had on blacks and to expect a phenomenal explosion of black prosperity in a short space of time is, I believe, unreasonable.

        In your post you mentioned things such as school drop out rate, imprisonment, lowest per capita income etc. and I wonder if you could provide me with something positive about black people, their achievements, the building of America on their backs (slaves built most of what is there at present, including the white house, others reaped the benefits), those who are present day lawyers, doctors, architects, politicians, senior personnel in business, senior police officers. They must have done something good.

        It would be interesting to know where you think that blacks should have been in the hierarchy of things in the USA today keeping in mind that they out of slavery for less than 100 years and, like the pioneers, are still trying to find their place in, what to many of them, is still a foreign land.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 03/01/2015 at 2:36 am

    I most certainly do not know, nor do I care, if there was any of my sort in the USA during the time of slavery.
    I firmly believe that all conflicts can be resolved wthout resort to violence; but I willingly concede that it was not always so.
    My first “hero” was Robert Walpole; then there were M K Gandhi, Dr. King, and now, President Obama.
    I have a reservation about the last-named. I had great hopes for the NAM – and look how some of them turned out!
    I admit to a personality defect which repels me from concepts like the “Little India” referred to; the “Chinatown” I often read about; and even the “Little Moscow” of long ago and far away.
    A long time ago, Mr. Emamudeen Khan, during a very lively and very public discussion at Uitvlugt Community Center, attempted to articulate the difference between ‘racial consciousness’ and ‘racial conflict’. The discussion rather degenerated into a personality clash between the speaker and Mr. Loaknauth Sharma…
    … and Mr. Khan’s valuable lesson, drowned out by the rabble-rousing.

    • Thinker  On 03/01/2015 at 7:08 am

      Walpole??? Can I be presumptious enough to suggest a replacement? M.K. Ambedkar? Just to broaden your horizons!!

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/01/2015 at 5:10 am

    Ron: “I have a reservation about the last-named.” – please expand this comment, I am interested. President Obama is doing an excellent job, given the operating conditions.

    NAM – I take it you mean the Non-Aligned Movement? – please tell us more.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 03/01/2015 at 3:40 pm

    Walpole!!! With reference to his cautious approach to war.
    I am touched that anyone should wish to broaden my horizons. Such persons are not presumptious.
    Naïve, maybe. Unaware (of me) certainly.

    My reservation about President Obama – for everyone really – is that I have no way of telling what they will (un)do in the future. Mr. Obama, in my opinion, is a person who feels deeply about his values and is quite capable of acting quite “out of character” if he needs to defend them.

    His efforts at achieving world peace deserve the highest commendation.

    The ‘village fathers’ once started naming the streets of Kitty after themselves. The idea was shot down because it was feared that they might not live up to the honor.
    My grandmother always had great expectations of me; and in her typical style, would belittle my accomplishments.
    I brought her to tears one time when I retaliated with, “You will tell the whole world how good I was – when I am dead and gone!”
    We did kiss and make up.
    And ‘Non-Aligned Movement’ it is! Mr. Kwame Nkrumah’s decline and fall was almost a personal tragedy. I had been quite sucked into the emotions of my father and his group of friends (they drank rum and held serious discussions) over the transition from “Gold Coast” to “Ghana”. We waved flags of Ghana as a colorful parade passed down James street in Albuoystown.
    Years later I surprised an uncle by interrupting him, “Non Alignment is itself a form of alignment!” Kwame Nkrumah was an architect of the movement.
    I could not decide about Anwar Sadat. The cold war ended; and the movement and I moved on.

  • detow  On 03/01/2015 at 4:19 pm

    This most interesting. In response to Ron’s initial post I suggested that during the days of slavery there were no Indians slaves in the USA. Since then my attention has been drawn to the struggles of an sector of the American population who attempted to gain a foothold in that country, gained and lost land and jobs and who, in contrast to the black slaves, had liberties which enabled them to enter universities, live and work as free men/women but were denied the right of becoming American citizens. All this, I believe, to counter my suggestion that non whites were never subjected to the vagaries of slavery. To cap this off I am now being advised of the skulduggery of M.K. Gandhi.

    I certainly wish that we could get back to the initial cause of this blog, and that is Dr. Narine’s article on Women In Black History, Ron’s suggestion that Dr. Narine’s article should have included women of another race, and my suggestion that there were no known slaves in the USA other than blacks.

    Maybe we can get into a discussion on the trials and tribulations of others, their successes and failures in another blog.

    Now back you Ron, I wonder why you would not care if Indians were in the USA during the time of slavery since, in my mind, if they were, this would negate the suggestion that whatever has been achieved by Indians has been on the backs of black slaves. I will leave President Obama’s assessment to the American people but like Clyde I would certainly love to know what you mean by NAM.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 03/01/2015 at 9:07 pm

    I am a product of my DNA and my total environment since birth.
    That environment does not include slavery, indentureship, pre-war days etc. I have read about these events – necessarily the experiences and interpretations of other people. My employment in the sugar industry in Guyana taught me that people who would pull me into that emotional “sons of slaves and indentured Indians” idea, generally had interior motives.
    Moreover, if I allow myself to be drawn into such distracting ideas, I would do myself a great disservice. I would not fully exploit my own potential.

    • detow  On 03/02/2015 at 3:49 pm

      Ron, I must commend you on your last post as it portray you as a young man independent of thought and unwilling to be swayed by hear say or any kind of third hand information.

      I say this because I am yet to win a discussion with my daughter or son who, although I try to discuss with them things that are Guyanese, always remind me that they are not Guyanese, have never been to Guyana, have no short term plans to visit Guyana and do not care a hoot about what happened in Guyana in the past, nor who did what to whom or what is the future of that country.

      I was really upset at the time that they said those things to me but on reflection I agreed with them. I have resolved to allow them to deal with their own past and not mine.

      It has been a pleasure corresponding with you. Stay pure of thought.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 03/02/2015 at 5:57 pm

    Here is a memorable quote:
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
     Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
     Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

  • detow  On 03/03/2015 at 9:06 pm

    Ron, you had to go to wikipedia to get a quote from Omar Khayyam but I just go to my home library and access my copy that I used in high schools as part of my literature class (1952).

    As a young man I would suggest to you that one measure of intelligence is being able to recognize the difference between a discussion and an argument, and to realize that I was not having an argument with you hence, no apology was necessary nor was any offered. Your reference to the quote from that specific rubaiyat is a jab below the belt.

    FYI. there is a suggestion that the verses which were introduced to the English speaking world by Edward Fitzgerald are poetic rather than literal and may not even carry the exact meaning as intended by Omar Khayyam.

    See you in another blog.

    • albert  On 03/04/2015 at 9:24 am

      detow:…..”It would be interesting to know where you think that blacks should have been in the hierarchy of things in the USA today keeping in mind that they out of slavery for less than 100 years and, like the pioneers, are still trying to find their place in, what to many of them, is still a foreign land”

      It may be a matter of one seeing the glass half full and the other seeing it half empty. The problem is my friend the ship seem to have reach its high point and is now slowly sinking. Who is not on board will miss the show.

      • detow  On 03/04/2015 at 6:10 pm

        I totally agree with you if your suggestion is that America is loosing its superiority over the rest of the world. In the process places like China, India and Africa are now coming to the forefront of the industrial world with Brazil not too far behind.

        And, by the way, in university I found out that that glass half full or half empty scenario is predominately used when a presenter is not sure of the subject that they are presenting and is unable to proceed logically.

        As an aside, being a bit of a skeptic I decided to ask a knowledgeable person (a lieutenant in the NYPD) about your statistical figure of blacks in the American penal system and was told that all is not as it seems because once incarcerated, anyone not white, hispanic or Chinese, is regarded as black. This then would tend to confuse the real number of African Americans who are in prison there.

  • albert  On 03/04/2015 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks for the information. Even though I disagree with most of it, I will leave it at that.

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