As I sit on the Greyhound on my way to Palm Springs for the Fifth Annual Women of Power Summit, I can’t help but think about the powerful woman who helped me get where I am today. Enid Francita Jackson, my mother.
She is not a corporate executive, or a businesswoman, or an MBA. My mother was educated in the school of very hard knocks. She emigrated from Jamaica to the United Kingdom in the 1960s and then to the U.S. with small children alone. But what she does have in common with women with those credentials is her fighting desire to give her children a good education and a future.
And she did. One daughter is a deputy district attorney in California and a homeowner, another daughter is semi-retired in London, and the other daughter is me.
Enid instilled the value of an education, self-respect, and independence in her children. She has empowered me and others with her determination and fierceness in the face of adversity. Certainly it is easy for me to say my mother is a woman of power. But as I look at her life over the decades she has earned the title over and over again.
I will never forget one of her mantras, “Pride feels no pain,” meaning, swallow your pride and do what needs to be done. Whenever I get too big for my britches, I repeat that phrase — just as she often repeated it to me.
My mother is a woman of power because she was able to surmount numerous obstacles to ensure her — and her childrens’ — success. She is the CEO of our family and is a role model for her strength, compassion, and experience.
Tell me dear reader, who is your woman of power, and why?
Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at BlackEnterprise.com