March is Women’s History Month, and it got me thinking about inspiring women of the past and present.
As a woman and a writer, many of my historical heroes are the same. I’m utterly fascinated by the life of Zora Neale Hurston. She is among the prominent voices of the Harlem Renassaiance in the 1930s. Her most famous literary work is Their Eyes Were Watching God. She had a pride and self-assurance that challenged the prevailing prejudice against African Americans in her day.

And then there’s Dorothy Parker. The biting wit and brave satire in her poetry were unheard of in the 1920s for a woman. She was the queen of quips — endlessly quotable with lines like: “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” Later in her life, she joined the civil rights movement and, in her death, gave her estate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both of these women contained the sass, guts, and perseverance to make them revolutionaries for their time. In addition to other great authors such as Maya Angelou, Anne Lamott and Nikki Giovanni, they’ve all inspired me in my writing.

Yet, as much as I love them, no one holds a candle to my mother. She has stayed madly in love with and married to the same man for more than 40 years, raised three great kids and as I type is finishing her dissertation for her doctorate degree. There’s no one braver, smarter or more easy to love. She inspires me every day to be the best that I can be and to never lose sight of who and whose I am.

So, let’s celebrate and recognize great women, not just this month, but all year long. Who are the most inspiring women in your life?

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Women’s History on Beliefnet

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