Our Matron Saints
Each member of the Caste Action Alliance chooses a Matron Saint. A Matron Saint is an African American (black) woman (living or deceased) whom we admire and respect as a social justice and civil rights activist. Through our study and research of her, we choose three of her qualities that stand out as ones we want to emulate. Of these three, we select one quality that we most identify with and can go to as an example of strength, persistence, courage, and support “when the going gets tough.” Some examples are Ida B. Wells, Mary McLeod Bethune, Marian Robinson, Stacy Abrams, Maya Angelou, Shirley Chisholm. Faith Ringgold, Odetta Holmes. and Barbara Jordan.
~ Angela Davis selected by Suzanne Sammons.
~ Faith Ringgold selected by Eva Martin.
~ Maya Angelou selected by Bry’Andi Brandon.
~ Maya Angelou selected by Tami Sojka.
Ida B. Wells is my matron saint. She was a pioneering activist and journalist who was born into slavery and then freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. I am inspired by her commitment to civil rights. She exposed the horrors of lynching and racial injustice, co-founded the NAACP, and tirelessly advocated for African-American equality as well as women’s rights. I admire her unwavering dedication, courage, and tenacity. ~ Ida. B. Wells selected by Carie Broecker
~ President Barak Obama selected by Javier Menjivar-Mayo
Mary McLeod Bethune, the poor Black daughter of former slaves, overcame numerous obstacles to obtain an education, found Bethune College, co-found the United Negro College Fund, head voter registration drives, serve as vice president of the NAACP, become a trusted friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, and serve as an advisor to FDR. She inspires me to work for quality education, civil rights, and responsive government. ~ Mary McLeod Bethune selected by Sharon Miller
~ Michelle Obama selected by Joni Caldwell.
I chose Marion Robinson, Michelle Obama’s mother, as my matron saint as she is an example of the kind of grandmother I strive to be. She left her friends, moved from Chicago, and dedicated her life to her two granddaughters while they lived in the White House. She wanted them to have a normal life. I have always admired her decision and am trying my best to help out with my grandchildren. ~ Marion Robinson selected by Pam Bonsper.
~ Anita Chase selected by Shanny Brooks.
I’m uncertain whether my first exposure to Barbara Jordan was in 1974 during the Watergate hearings or in 1976 during her DNC keynote address, but it was a moment that left a profound mark on me. This champion of Civil Rights is celebrated as an inspirational figure, revered for her exceptional integrity, eloquence, and unwavering courage. I selected her as a role model because of her unyielding commitment to speaking truth to power, a trait I deeply admire. ~ Barbara Jordan selected by Anita Crawley.