March, National Women’s History Month, is a grand time to think of the brave and bold women nationally, internationally, and in our own lives. I think of the women who now lead countries and who serve in national and state government positions in the U.S. In a celebrity culture, I think of the usually unknown female musicians, scientists, dancers, painters, women working at non-profits and all the educators investing in the next generation. I think of the unsung women who prepare meals at hospitals and schools, who care for children, the elderly, the dying. I also think of you and me working to make this a better world, each in our own way, and how we draw strength from the determination of a Frida Kahlo, an Eleanor Roosevelt and the poet Lucille Clifton who died recently. How they lift our spirits!
I wrote A LIBRARY FOR JUANA: THE WORLD OF SOR JUANA INÉS to bring attention to Mexico’s most famous woman poet, a prodigy I didn’t hear about until I was an adult. I wrote MARIA PAINTS THE HILL to bring attention to Maria Hesch, a self-taught Santa Fe artist inspired by Grandma Moses, and I wrote DOÑA FLOR: A TALL TALE ABOUT A GIANT WOMAN WITH A GREAT BIG HEART to create a tall tale about an immense yet gentle bilingual woman who spoke all animal languages, “even rattler.”
Together, may we help young women to believe in their potential and to invest in themselves.