Women of Black History Month: Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale

“Some people are just negative,” says Hale. “They’ll try to shut your dreams down. I’ve always believed that I, along with other people, could change the world for Christ.”

Dr. Hale is an inspirational person to me, in the scheme of my own life.  She was one of the  pioneering women who continued to integrate my undergraduate college of Hollins University; she is a fellow sorority sister in Alpha Kappa Alpha, and she has embraced her political beliefs.  Dr. Hale stumped for President Obama during his first run in 2008, was invited to give the Invocation on the second day of the Democratic National Convention in 2008, and was invited to read the scripture at the National Prayer Service for the Inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 (see video above).   I remember meeting her for the first time while presenting as the SGA Vice President to the Alumnae Board which she was a member of at the time.  She knew my parents growing up, and took some time to talk to me and encourage me to continue moving forward.  It was inspirational to see such an incredible Hollins women, who happened to look like me.  Don’t get me wrong — my undergraduate institution is filled with women who are going places (as our tag line says); but not very many of them look like I do.  So it was an honor to get to see that women who look like me also get to go places.

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Women of Black History Month: Prathia Hall

Image from Magnum Photos. I do not own the rights to this image.

“I don’t have a martyr complex; I’m fighting because I want to live. Living in this system has not been life for me. But I cant take someone else’s life knowingly. I thought we were going to Mississippi because people have been getting killed there for years and no one cared. I thought we were going there to say to the world that if any of us dies, it was not a redneck who shot us but the whole society that had us killed.” – Prathia Hall , Freedom Rider (1964) (from PBS’s This Far By Faith: A Faith Forged in Albany)

“Prathia Hall is the one platform speaker I would prefer not to follow.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (from PBS’s This Far By Faith: Prathia Hall)

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