A Team of Awesome Women & the Nobel Prize

Strong women come in all sizes, colors, religions, and abilities. Today we celebrate two women who discovered one of the greatest breakthroughs in the biological sciences. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry this week for their development of a groundbreaking method for editing DNA. They discovered the genetic scissors called CRISPR/Cas9. It’s a tool that allows scientists to “snip” the DNA of organisms, “allowing for easy and precise genetic modifications.” https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=31760 They are the sixth and seventh women in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the first pair of women to win the chemistry prize. This team of awesome women teamed up for a common goal, and the results are world changing. Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives—choice, not chance, and determines your destiny. Aristotle (384-322 BC) Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier Emmanuelle Charpentier was born on December 11, 1968 in Juvisy-sur-Orge, a commune in northern France, 18km south-east of Paris.  Charpentier studied biochemistry, microbiology and genetics at the Pierre and Marie Curie University. She received a research doctorate from […]

The Maid Who Fought Back

Hattie Canty rose from an Alabama girl to a maid to an African-American labor activist. She was the maid who fought back, the maid who eventually ensured that Las Vegas workers in the hospitality business made a living wage.  Early Life Hattie Canty was born in 1934 in  St. Stephens, Alabama. She graduated high school and married. They divorced. A single mother with two children, she moved to San Diego and took a job as a cook, then as a private maid. Las Vegas She remarried in 1961, moved to Las Vegas, and had eight more children. Her husband worked for Silver State Disposal. She stayed home to care for her ten children. By 1972 she returned to work, this time at the Thunderbird Hotel. Her husband died of lung cancer in 1975. And then she was a single mother again, this time with eight children still at home. She worked as a janitor, a maid, and then in 1979 got a job as a maid at Maxim Casino. In 1987, she earned a promotion to the better paying job of a uniformed attendant. The Union She joined the Culinary Workers Union 226, an affiliate of the Hotel Employees and […]

She Refused to be Silenced

Lucy Parsons (1853-1942) is a woman of history in my ongoing examination of “Strong Women.” Parsons, the “Queen of Anarchy,” was a woman of contradictions. The Chicago police department considered her “more dangerous than 1000 rioters.”  surveilled her, arrested her, and fined her over and over. Yet, she refused to be silenced. Early Life Lucy Parsons, nee Lucia Carter, was born a slave in Virginia around 1853. Lucia had “fairer” skin and was “comely.” Most likely she was the daughter of her master. As the Civil War came to a close, she, her mother, and younger brother were among the slaves Dr. Taliaferro brought with him when he moved. The trip to rural McLennan county Texas was long and probably traumatic to Lucy as a twelve-year-old slave girl.  In 1866, Taliaferro moved to Tennessee to marry. Freed people in the Texas countryside suffered “a general reign of terror.” Lucia’s mother moved her family to Waco. The small town was safer for freed people. By 1870, Lucia, a seamstress, lived with a freedman named Oliver Benton, formerly known as Oliver Gathings. Biographers presume he was the father of her stillborn child. In the early 1870s, she met Albert Richard Parsons (1845-1887) […]