Black Women, Leadership, and Adulting, Turkish Tuesday Style

Shirley Chisholm was a role model for many Black women, and the first black person, male or female, to run for president of the United States.

Legal & Financial Pro-Bono and continuing education (aka Adulting Education) is easier when there are strong role models for all of us, and helping to build those new role models is also part of Project Do Better, like Eda, played by Defne Joy Foster,


from my favorite family show of all time, the Turkish show Sihirli Annem (from 2003…)!

  On this popular family show that updates ‘Bewitched‘ meets Harry Potter, Foster played Eda, a strong woman who demanded her right to live as she felt correct, learning to love others who were different from herself in spite of tremendous opposition.  She thus made space for other women, especially Black women, to lead, as other shows continued to do later:

I’m still emotionally buzzing from the end of episode 21 of El Ministerio del Tiempo and Amelia’s incredible courage, and character arc !!

More than just one protagonist, though, she stands in a line of female main characters (not always lead or protag, actually) who start off as just intelligent, and develop into both intelligent and strong female characters, a bit like Hermione Granger from the HP series:  these ladies began with some kind of growing to do, and did that growing through painful events, but grew, emotionally and personally (courage, commitment, etc) to become much stronger than they started off the books or series, like:

Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5, or  Eda from Sihirli Annem,  or Nazli from Yabanci Damat all began as less than fully confident, but all very promising, intelligent, and self-directed young ladies, who had to learn to be more assertive, culminating in either marrying the person whom they chose (rather than their families chose), or by snatching victory from the jaws of death, or in the case of Amelia, deliberately walking into the possibility of the worst death known (an Auto-da-Fe) in history, for the purpose of making her point.  (ok, yes, you could argue that Delenn does this in B5’s Circle of Fire, but watch the Ministerio del Tiempo episode, and you will see that it is rather different, and also Delenn arrived on B5 as a mature leader, where Amelia began as a novice leader).

These are the examples of critical thinking, emotional growth, and self-confidence that young girls need to see as early and as often as possible to grow into leaders able and willing to stand alongside men and make this world a more just and humane place for all.

3rd of June, 2016

Action Items for role models:

1.) Think of your favorite role model(s).

2.) Tell us about them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how they helped you to stretch as a person,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that illustrates that person’s influence, like that of Shirley Chisholm, tells a good story, and makes a difference.   Once published, please consider donating to your local public library.


Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, Lupin, or $…

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading the #Project Do Better manual.


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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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