Honoring our Legends
By: Geraldine Zenteno
As women’s history month begins and International Women's Day arises, we take this moment to honor some amazing black women who helped pave the way for us.
B. Smith, a model, restaurateur, and lifestyle maven; passed away on February 22. She was the first black model to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle.
B. Smith's modeling career helped her discover her love for the culinary arts. It began with her trying to share with her friends the exotic foods she tasted across the seas, to her opening up her first bistro in New York. With the success of the bistro in New York; Mrs. Smith opened another location right here in Washington D.C. by Union Station. Sadly both the restaurant’s are now closed (1). However, the transcultural decor she implemented in her restaurants, can be replicated through by reading her lifestyle books and visiting her website.
Not only did B. Smith write lifestyle books, she also wrote a book titled “Before I Forget” in which she talks about her battle against Alzheimer's, definitely a book that will be added to my reading list (2).
B.Smith has left an imprint not only on black women but women in general to be seen pass the beauty of our exterior and more so celebrated for the business woman that we are. Thank you B. Smith for showing us how we can be unapologetic multifaceted beings!
Mrs. Johnson, first began to work for NASA in 1953, before when it was known as NACA. Under Mike Sheppard, Mrs. Johnson calculated the trajectory analysis for the May 1961 mission Freedom 7. She was also the first woman to ever be formally credited with co-authoring a report in the Flight Research Division. If you’ve seen Hidden Figures then you know the talented Golden Globe Winner Taraji P. Henson, had the honor of acting out this sequence of events.
As Mrs. Johnson career in NASA began to grow so did her responsibilities, if asked what her greatest contribution was she would say the calculations to the Project Apollo’s Lunar Module (3). I guess we now know who to really thank for getting us to the moon.
We continuously will forever thank these two pioneers for leading the charge in showing us as women how we can supersede set expectations, become business owners, scientists, and truly be seen as leaders in any corporate boardroom. That imagery speaks in volume and will always be why we call these women... lengendary!
- Sun Gods