Say Her Name

By Samantha McKenzie

We all have women in our lives that we couldn’t live without. Maybe it’s your mother, or a grandmother, or even a sister-friend who has made an extraordinary impact on your life.

These are the women who sometimes support your wildest dreams and keep you inspired to chase after some more.  They’re also the women who pull your coat tail and remind you from whence you come. They are the ladies who provide for you without you even asking. They are the souls who can sit quietly through your rants, without blinking an eye. They let you just get it all out, until, well you know…until the next time. They are the women whose strength you see and feel.

They show up at the right time. They insert themselves in your life. And when they’re no longer around, you feel the pain of emptiness.

Some of them save you.

Some of them just let you be free.

And sometimes they stand with their feet firmly planted in your way to keep you from going over the edge.

I have a long list of women who I couldn’t live without. Some have come and gone. Some showed up to deliver one message and I’ve never seen them again. And then there are those who’ve been on the journey with me the entire time. I love them all.

I love that my mother, who during a phone call, can detect that there’s a problem just by the tone in my voice. Or my sister who will cast her net into my entire ocean just to make sure I’m good. What about those girlfriends who are always there when your insecurities show up and are always ready to bring you back to reality. By force, if necessary.

I think it’s important to tell them how much they mean to you. You can pick up the phone, set up a lunch date, or slip a thoughtful card in the mail to remind them how they’ve guided your footprints throughout the years or how their very presence in some way has accompanied your path.

Today, I want you to say her name. I want us to say the names of these strong, brilliant, kind women who have made us who we are today. Take the time to incorporate their stories in your conversations. Make sure people are aware of who she is. Say her name out loud.

Today, I speak the names of women who have made a great contribution to my life. They are among the living and dead and have inspired so many parts of me.

Thank you for keeping my candle lit:

  • Angela McKenzie
  • Josephine Weekes
  • Allison Miller
  • Thelma Niles
  • Tahirah Hargrove
  • Samiyah Hargrove
  • Lateefah Razzak
  • Daphne Roach
  • Elana Muhammad
  • Vernell Mitchell
  • Gretchen Cobb
  • Dawn Onley

This is my short list.

Continue saying her name out loud. Say it over and over again. Say it when you are in small circles or the next time you are center stage.

Say it so that she can feel her worth.

Say it so you won’t forget where you came from.

Say it so she will be etched into history.

Say it so she will be remembered.

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