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Flowers for Black Women of Westchester

Published in time to celebrate Women’s History Month, “Black Women of Westchester” made its debut on March 4, 2023 at the Greenburgh Public Library to a large crowd of admirers. The book was written by A.J. Woodson, Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester, Host and Producer of “The People Before Politics” podcast. In four parts, Black sheroes are featured who made, and continue to make, a positive and lasting impact on Westchester County, NY. And yes Virginia, “sheroe” is a word, defined since the late 1800s as a woman regarded as a hero.

Before the dictionary addition, in the 1828 case of People v. Solomon Gedney , Sojourner Truth, an activist, abolitionist, and resident of Briarcliff Manor, NY became the first African-American woman to win a lawsuit against a White man to free her son from enslavement. The court documents are available online: objects/88246. Like the historic case, Woodson’s research, interviews, fact-checking, and the timeline in Part 4 of the book are supported by detailed receipts.

The Saturday afternoon talk and discussion was sponsored by the White Plains/Greenburgh Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pi Iota Omega Chapter. The Charitable Partnerships Committee of the Westchester Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. donated books to be raffled at the event and Starbucks donated a delicious assortment of refreshments.

Several Black Women of Westchester attended the book signing and each was given an opportunity to reveal the people in their lives that inspired them to become trailblazers. Some were encouraged by their parents. Others were encouraged by their teachers. And some were sick and tired of seeing injustice inflicted on others for no reason other than the color of their skin, the size of their bank accounts, or for simply having sweat on their brow.

The library’s multipurpose room was not large enough and two hours was not sufficient to take in all the herstory. Janice Griffith, President of the White Plains/Greenburgh Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. and Marie Houston, Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., did a great job moving the event forward by allowing sufficient time for photos and for Woodson to sign books for the attendees. At the end of the day, all books were sold and only a few coffee mugs and buttons remained.

The audience’s strong appetite for capturing herstory accurately and inclusively was reassuring in light of recent efforts to ban books, erase our herstory, and push misinformation. In the face of such adversity, throughout Women’s Herstory Month take a few moments to give Black Women their flowers while they are alive, celebrate Black Women who helped pave the way for others, and congratulate Black Women who demonstrate excellence.

In this regard, THANK YOU Sandra Blackwell, Publisher & Editor of the Westchester County Press, for keeping Westchester County’s residents informed and it’s elected officials aware that the fourth branch of government is holding them accountable. We see you on page 168 of “Black Women of Westchester”, CONGRATULATIONS!

If you or your organization would like to order copies of the book, a mug with the book’s insignia, or host a conversation with A.J. Woodson, email: or call: 914-979-2093.


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