I'm usually up to my ears in work at Oprah time on weekdays. It was no different on Jan. 29, when my best friend called me from Maryland and ordered me to turn on Oprah, "Right now!" then hung up. I flew upstairs and clicked on the TV. A few minutes later I called my friend back and said, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" for there was Tina Turner, gloriously feminine and radiant at 60-plus-stepping, gliding, shimmying, her face ablaze with joie de vivre, her voice powerful and sure, as she heralded Oprah Winfrey's arrival at the age of 50. My friend and I renewed our vow for the umpteenth time: When we leave this world, we're going out looking, feeling and stepping like Tina.
I joined The Network Journal a year ago as editor in chief, just as the magazine was preparing to honor its newest class of Influential Black Women in Business. In my new role, I had the privilege of meeting this amazing group of 25 women. I paid close attention to each of them and their jaw-dropping achievements, thinking that it would not get any better than this, that, after five years and 125 women, TNJ could not possibly come up with another 25 Black women who stepped to so powerful a beat.
Blessedly, I was wrong. We haven't seen anything yet from women, says Tylene Harrell, executive director of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs Inc. (www.nanbpwc.org ). "As the job market continues to change in the 21st century we will see an increasing recognition of women as business owners and leaders of family businesses. The future will be played out on a global stage. Women from across the globe will be working to care for their families and themselves as entrepreneurs and will be viable players in a global workforce. They will change the face of work as we know it," she says.
In this issue we pay homage to yet another TNJ 25. We are mindful that, despite their victories, their battles are far from over not only because they keep raising their own bar but also because our society still judges its daughters and sons by the color of their skin. Black women are still underrepresented at the senior-most corporate levels and our women entrepreneurs are grappling with a new set of challenges that have emerged in the era of "diversity." We acknowledge, too, the heroism of one woman in Africa, who symbolizes a different struggle on that continent (Africa Focus).
For all these women, Marcus Garvey's exhortation, "Man, know thyself!" (Final Word), seems a done deed. There's also that Tina in all of us. It's high time we knew her, too.
By Rosalind Mclymont