Rosalind Brewer, Sam’s Club, CEO

by Shanay Watson-Whittaker
Crossposted from

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Shanay Watson-Whittaker




How many times have you heard, “it’s not your turn,” “you’re not ready yet,” “the time isn’t right,” or the dreaded word, “WAIT?”

From the boardroom, to the pulpit, to the ballot box, Black women have heard the same excuses not to step up and become a leader in your chosen field. We are natural born leaders and innovators. We’ve stood up in the faces of presidents to right a wrong, we’ve started our own companies, and we’ve ran for president but today, there are very few of us in positions of power to make effective change in our country. Sistah, look to your history, lean on it, and use it as motivation to excel in your career.

Madame CJ Walker

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

Look to Madam C.J. Walker and her business savvy as your motivation to start a company. Study up on the late Texas Congresswoman Barbara Charline Jordan – a woman who asked the tough questions her male counterparts were afraid to ask during the Watergate hearings. Also, watch “Unbought and Unbossed” the honest documentary of the late New York Congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm. In 1972, she became the first Black candidate to run for president. Shirley Chisholm was also one of the founding members of the National Organization for Women.

Our foremothers stepped up and stepped out and the same excuses they heard are the same ones you hear today. Their road was harder to travel than ours so step up, push back against the naysayers, and become the leader you are destined to be!


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Shanay Watson-Whittaker

Shanay Watson-Whittaker is a Democratic activist and organizer. She was the former Chair of the Young Democrats of America Minority Caucus. Shanay is the owner of an Ebay store called Shay’s Chic Boutique, she is a motivational speaker, a blogger at La Femme Negrita and a genealogy enthusiast. She lives in Detroit, MI with her husband, Ken and their six kids. You can follow Shanay on Twitter as LaFemme_Negrita and you can reach her at


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