This year, when the National Women’s Hall of Fame announced its newest inductees, there were two names that made me do a double take.
Listed amongst the eleven new names to join the Hall were two names that should have been in there years ago: Coretta Scott King and Billie Holiday.
Hearing the names, I wondered how they hadn’t been honored in years past. I mean one would almost assume they had been honored in years past. After all, they both fit the organization’s criteria for “their lasting contributions to society through the arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy and science.”
King, a late civil rights icon and Holiday, a legendary jazz singer are icons within the African-American community and in American culture at large. King is known for her grace and poise, remaining the wife to one of this country’s greatest Black leaders and mother to children whom she sought to shield from constant threats of hatred. Holiday, though often portrayed as the classic tortured artist, was more a woman in control than many would like to think. From her raspy recordings filled with every emotion from pain to triumph, Holiday has lived on in modern music as an inspiration for women in the game even today.
Yet, even with the reach of their legacies, these women were, for years, passed over for the honor. I don’t know why they were only inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, I am just are glad to see them there. I am also cognizant of what lesson can be learned from their seemingly late praise.
There’s this quote I remember learning during civics class back in the day, an old Abraham Lincoln quote. It went:
“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”
Many of us may never get recognition or shine, but that should not make us change the way we think about all we do. It should not hinder our drive moving forward in our purpose. Like King and Holiday, our accomplishments may not be paid honor until far past due. Worrying about recognition won’t bring it any faster; so today choose remain dedicated in your lane, bringing both humility and your full energy to everything you do.