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Women​’​s History - Poetry of Progress

from Nhojj Poetry Vol. 2 by Nhojj



I honor the contributions women have made to our political landscapes. We are better because of these powerful ladies. Happy Women's History Month.


Poetry doesn’t always require rhyme.  Sometimes the simple facts posses a beauty of their own.  The progress of our sisters, in leadership around the world, for me, is such a poem.  We do not need to go back as far as Cleopatra and Joan of Arc, a few hundred years would suffice.  

I admit, up until a few months ago, I was ignorant of my women’s history.  So today’s is a beginner’s course, because we all must begin somewhere.  Yes this is slow progress, but what progress isn’t...

Now pray let us speak their names, least, in all the madness gathering about us, we get distracted, and forget...

Sojourner Truth speaks at the first National Women’s Rights Convention.

Harriet Tubman, during the Civil War leads the first female directed armed assault, liberating more than 750 slaves.

Julia Addington becomes the first woman elected to public office in Iowa and probably in United States.  During her 2 years in office, 17 new schools are built.

Added to the ballot without her knowledge, Susanna Salter beats the odds and wins, becoming the first woman elected Mayor.  

Jeannette Pickering, a pacifist, is the first woman elected to Congress.  She is instrumental in initiating legislation granting voting rights to women.

New Mexico's Soledad Chávez de Chacón becomes the first Latina elected to statewide executive office.

Michigan’s Cora Belle Reynolds Anderson becomes the first Native American woman elected to a state legislature.

West Virginia’s Minnie Buckingham Harper becomes the first African American woman elected to a state legislature.

Frances Perkins is the first woman to hold a Presidential Cabinet position.  During her term as Secretary of Labor, she is responsible for inaugurating social security, welfare and the minimum wage. 

1960 - 1969
Modern era welcomes its first female Prime Ministers in Sri Lanka, India and Israel.

Lelia Foley-Davis becomes the first African American woman elected Mayor.

Boston’s Elaine Noble becomes the first openly LGBT candidate elected to a state legislature.  She is also part of the first LGBT delegation invited to the White House.

1974 - 1975
Argentina welcomes the first female President and Central African Republic its first female Prime Minister.  

Ella T. Grasso becomes the first female Governor not married to a previous Governor, and is re-elected for a second term.

Patricia Roberts Harris becomes the first African American woman to hold a Presidential Cabinet position and later is the first to represent the United States as an Ambassador.

1979 - 1982
Great Britain, Portugal, Dominica and Norway elect their first female Prime Ministers.  

Iceland and Malta elect their first female Presidents.

The “Mother of Asian Democracy” Corazon Aquino becomes the first female president of the Philippines.  

Benazir Bhutto becomes the first female Prime Minister of a Muslim country.  She helps move Pakistan from dictatorship to democracy.  

1990 - 1999
Ireland, Nicaragua, Burundi, Guyana, Latvia, Panama and Switzerland welcomed their first female Presidents.  

Lithuania, Bangladesh, France, Poland, Canada, Rwanda, Turkey, Haiti and New Zealand elect their first female Prime Ministers.

Boston’s Althea Garrison becomes the first transgender person elected to a state legislature.

Chicago’s Carol Moseley Braun becomes the first African American woman elected to the United States Senate.   

Janet Reno becomes the first female Attorney General of the United States and commissions a report on wrongful convictions and how DNA evidence could help exonerate the innocent.

Madeleine Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State, at this time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.

2001- 2006
Finland, Indonesia, Chile and Liberia  elect their first female Presidents.

Senegal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Peru, Macedonia, Mozambique, Ukraine, Jamaica and South Korea welcome their first female Prime Ministers.

Germany elects it’s first female Chancellor.

Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female House Speaker and rallies her Democratic caucus around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which provides healthcare to nearly 20 million previously uninsured Americans. 

Annise Parker becomes the first openly LGBT individual elected Mayor of major American city.  

2008 - 2009 
Moldova and Croatia elect their first female Prime Ministers.

Sonia Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic person to serve on the United States Supreme Court, and proves to be a strong voice for criminal justice reform.

2010 - 2012
Australia, Slovakia, Trinidad and Tobago, Denmark, Mali and Thailand elect their first female Prime Ministers.

Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo and Malawi elect their first female Presidents.

Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly LGBT person elected to the United States Senate.

2013 - 2015
Slovenia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Brazil and Mauritius elect their first female Prime Ministers.

Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman nominated by a major party for President of the United States.

The Women’s March on Washington becomes the largest single day protest in American history, drawing up to 5 million people worldwide.

I pause here, but the story does not end here.  There are many more firsts to come, and even though they are not as spectacular - seconds, thirds fourths and fifths are just as important.  

Sisters, your progress is our progress.  Women are running for office in record numbers.  I believe the government should reflect the people it serves.  Ladies I support you!  Happy Women’s History Month.


from Nhojj Poetry Vol. 2, track released March 3, 2018
Written & performed by Nhojj
Contains sample of "It Is Well" by Nhojj


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Nhojj Orlando, Florida

Singer/songwriter and poet wading through the rivers of R&B, soul, jazz, and reggae.

My intention is to create sonic spaces where you can experience yourself through the lens of love and acceptance.

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