Black History Month is very important to me as an African-American woman. Even though I know having to set aside a time in our history to spotlight the accomplishments of black people is slightly questionable, I do enjoy the shared pride the month seems to instill in our community.
It was this pride that when asked to do a profile on African-American history I thought, “What about the women who are making history NOW?” And, of course, one of the first women to come to mind was Rene Syler.
Rene makes me proud to be an African-American woman, mother, and business person. With her Good-Enough-Mother message she has given all women the blueprint to give rise to their passions be it by climbing the corporate ladder, using defeat as a stepping stone to a new career, or redefining themselves.
After becoming someone millions of Americans woke up to every morning as an anchor on “The Early Show” on CBS, Rene was dismissed from the position. She tried to remain in her chosen field, but it didn’t seem to have the same feeling. So Rene took to blogging at her site Good Enough Mother, and whoa boy, did she ever find her niche.
Rene now speaks to a more intimate crowd, but the response via her social media outlets could not tell a better story. Women everywhere have heard Rene say that only you define yourself, there’s no way to be perfect, and that is “good enough.”
As have African-American women before her, Rene is making strides for all women with her ambassadorship for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. African-American women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all races, and as the daughter of two breast cancer survivors (both her mother and her father) Rene had her own decision to make.
When she was diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, a precursor to breast cancer, the mother of two chose a preventative, bilateral mastectomy—a procedure that was profiled by Oprah Winfrey. But her work against breast cancer doesn’t stop there; Good Enough Mother has been used as a vehicle to showcase women (and men) of all cultures as they tell their stories.
As an African-American woman, Rene has been a part of one of the biggest movements of our culture: the natural hair campaign. As one of the faces that lead the news on a daily basis, Rene is leading by example and showing that embracing your true heritage and hair can be empowering and beautiful. Women are encouraged by her transformation, making Rene Syler a true positive force changing the course African-American history for the better.
(Above image from the Good Enough Mother Facebook page.)
Ella Rucker is an Ohio native who moved to The Big Apple for fame and fortune. After attending Wright State University for medicine and then working in telecommunications, she finds herself pursuing her dream of writing. She is now a contributor on goodenoughmother.com in that vein and produces for the brand as well. The mother of an amazing two-year-old and surrogate to a few other, Ella is enjoying a life of watching the dreams she envisioned for her life unfold, even if they are taking the scenic route. Her writing can also be found on mochamanual.com.