BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Rockstar of the Week

“Behind every great man is a great woman.” Ideally, the “behind” would be replaced by a “besides,” but in President Obama’s case this cliché is quite accurate. While the media chooses to focus on Mrs. Michelle Obama’s outfit of choice, seven black women from President Obama’s administration work diligently behind the White House scene. These women, also known as “The Obama women” or “The Sisterhood,” constitute “the largest contingent of high-ranking black women to work for a president.” [1] In addition to making history, all women boast impressive resumes and exemplary achievements. Readers, please meet our rockstars of the week!!

courtesy of

from far left, clockwise: Susan Rice, UN Ambassador; Mona Sutphen, deputy chief of staff; Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Desireé Rogers, White House social secretary; Cassandra Butts, deputy White House counsel; Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser.

Now, seven may seem like a large number, but in relation to the amount of academically and professionally successful black women in the United States, these powerful women remain outnumbered:

“Women earn about two-thirds of the associate and bachelor’s degrees awarded to black students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and Bureau of Labor data show that more than 2.6 million black women were employed in management and professional jobs last year […] Even so, women and minorities still lack representation in proportion to their numbers on the federal level.” [2]

We here at BLACK GIRLS ROCK! are all about black women breaking barriers, especially in areas as influential as the government, not to mention The White House. Fundamentally, the significance of these sisters parallels the significance of President Obama’s victory–their presence in a predominantly white male field signifies possibilities that, before now, some black girls only dreamt of. Yet, with great power comes great responsibility, so as these great women continue to address their designated tasks to the best of their abilities, they ought not forget about the many little Valerie Jarretts and Susan Rices in training.

If you’d like to learn more about these rockstars, HERE is a great starting place.

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