Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Freedom's Sisters Exhibit Honors 20 African-American Women in LA

What do you do when you're in the presence of greatness? Not famous, nor celebrity, but greatness, the kind that stems from extraordinary sacrifice, courage, and determination. Say little and listen a lot is my advice. Last Thursday I asked myself that very question as I stood amongst some of the most dynamic African-American women in history--Myrlie Evers-Williams, Della Reese, and Attallah Shabazz just to name a few--during Ford Motor Company's Freedom's Sisters Southern California Luncheon in Beverly Hills.

One of several events held in conjunction with the following NAACP Image Awards, the event introduced to many "Freedom's Sisters", the Smithsonian's traveling exhibit honoring 20 African-American women of the Civil Rights Movement. It features such legends as Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisolm, Sonia Sanchez, Coretta Scott King, and Myrlie Evers-Williams in a multimedia, interactive experience designed to "inspire lives, dare to dream, serve the public, and look to the the future." See how the exhibit came to be:

In the spirit of the exhibit, 20 exceptional African-American local women were selected as Southern California's Freedom's Sisters. On the red carpet I talked to some of the honorees, Artis Lane, Holly Robinson-Peete, event host, Taraji P. Henson, and others about how they defined a "freedom's sister" and her contribution to the world.

During the event, former NAACP Chairwoman, Myrlie Evers-William, gave a keynote address that was less of a speech and more of a proclamation of our overlooked accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement. She shared personal thoughts, stories, and remembrances of how far we've come as African-American women and the importance of working together. But most inspiring was her passion for life and her declaration to live it to the fullest until her last breath.

And before I end this post, I must give virtual applause to ET's Kevin Frazier for producing a wonderful DVD about "Freedom's Sisters". His great aunt, Septima Poinsette Clark, is one of the 20 women featured in the exhibit.

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