Throughout February, we worked to uplift the stories of Black entrepreneurs who have been exemplary models of strength, resilience, and empowerment to their local communities. Black History Month was a time to remember important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. As we transition into a new month of celebration, we continue to hold the values of Black History Month and focus on the women within our communities. Women who have been the strong, empowering, disruptive force that has found ways to succeed while keeping the needs of their communities as a guiding light.
Black History Month and Women’s History Month are each important in their own right. February was chosen for Black History Month primarily because the second week of the month coincides with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Lincoln was influential in the emancipation of enslaved people, and Douglass, a former enslaved person, was a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery. Lincoln and Douglass were each born in the second week of February, so it was traditionally when Black Americans would hold celebrations in honor of emancipation.
The actual celebration of Women’s History Month grew out of a week-long celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history, and the society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978. Presentations were given at dozens of schools, hundreds of students participated in a “Real Woman” essay contest, and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa. A few years later, the idea had caught on within communities, school districts, and organizations across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. The United States Congress followed suit, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.
Celebrating Women’s History Month acknowledges the amazing accomplishments of women despite the unique barriers, often in intersectional ways depending on the culture. Both months of celebration and uplifting hold significant importance to the ProsperUs Detroit team. In the city of Detroit, the fight for gender equity coexists with racial equity. Transgender visibility is very important throughout the month of March and the inclusion of the LGBTQ community is integral. We’re working to capture the stories that support and uplift those narratives of resilience that represent our neighborhood entrepreneurial communities. The focus of our Women’s History Month series is the resilience and strength of women in our amazing city.
We also want to take this moment to thank our community of entrepreneurs for sharing their stories, struggles, and successes with us throughout these storytelling campaigns. Through these stories, we’ve aimed to uplift and celebrate narratives, and to spread their stories beyond our own communities and to those who are unfamiliar. Through storytelling, we share our culture and document history. Thank you for allowing us the space to share and create!
At ProsperUs, we want to reiterate that Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. The Future is Female.