By Katrice L. Mines, Senior Editor
When I was growing up, my professional goals changed quite often according to my exposure. My earliest career choice was a lawyer (which I’m sure many African-American women can relate to if they had a penchant for thorough conversation as girls). I was “a talker” so people always told me I’d make a good lawyer when I grew up. And then, I heard Whitney Houston’s debut single and I wanted to be a recording artist. Around 6th Grade, I thought I’d one day pursue a seat in the U.S. Senate. I didn’t stop shifting career interests until my exposure to Zora Neale Hurston.
Something about how I felt when I read “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” connected everything that had been loosely strewn about in my mind concerning how I would contribute to the world. I was a pre-Law major in my junior year of undergraduate school at that point. Her words were so beautifully assembled and her storytelling style so powerful that I had to know everything I could about her to try and understand how she became this sort of writer. What I learned that impacted me most was that she was an activist. I considered myself an activist and a lover of words. But, not just words in a one-dimensional way. I loved how words could both disrupt and reform people and situations. That’s the kind of writing Hurston did and that was the kind of writer I wanted to be; she was the kind of woman I wanted to be. This entire issue is filled with and dedicated to disrupters and reformers … trailblazers and torchbearers. The 2018 Women of Excellence are transforming industries and communities in Atlanta and contributing to change around the world. They are the kind of women I always wanted to be like as a girl, and they are lighting the pathway for me as a woman. I hope that you will pass this issue on to the girls, sister-friends and female colleagues in your life because these women’s successes can be shared by us all. Take what you need and pass it on.