To atone for this oversight, I'm presenting the first of a new series called Black History In The Making. Sure, we all know about female trailblazers like Mary McLeod Bethune, Madame CJ Walker, and Shirley Chisolm. But black history is being made today by women other than Oprah Winfrey and
At age 51, Ursula Burns leads the iconic corporation Xerox, and in 2009, Forbes rated her the 14th most powerful woman in the world. Not the country, the whole effin' world!!! Her bio, which was very well detailed in a 2010 New York Times piece, is a story of determination, hard work, loyalty, and keepin' it real. I know stories of success in the corporate world aren't nearly as sexy or exciting as talking about Lebron or even, God forbid, Gucci Mane, but reality is by the time she retires, Mrs. Burns (who makes about $12M a year in total compensation) will have probably outearned both of them.
Even better, her story is one that virtually anyone can replicate. She went to school, educated herself, and worked her ass off to rise to the top of her profession. It's attainable example of success that doesn't depend on singing well or standing 7 feet tall.
If you'd like to read an inspiring story of an amazing woman who's making black history everyday that doesn't include a single mention of the words "stripper pole", read this piece in its entirety, and print it out for every one of your nieces, and nephews for that matter.
Well done, Mrs. Burns.
Xerox’s New Chief Tries to Redefine Its Culture [NYTimes]