March 1st marks the official end of Black History Month and the beginning of Women’s History Month, months set aside to remember and honor the contributions prominent African Americans and women have had on American society. It is a time to reflect on not only how far we’ve come toward ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all people, regardless of their race and gender, but also how far we have left to go. Although only two months are officially designated for such exercises, reflecting on the contributions African Americans and women have made, and continue to make on our great nation, is a practice that should be ongoing throughout the entire year.
In the spirit of the passing of Black of History Month, the beginning of Women’s History Month and the ongoing importance of acknowledging all that our African American and female citizens do to make this country great, I would like to take a moment to highlight an inspirational individual who I came across in an article published in D Magazine: Police Chief Renee Hall. From humble beginnings in Detroit, Renee Hall has overcome many obstacles to become the first female police chief in Dallas, TX. Her father, Ulysses Brown, was a police officer killed in the line of duty when she was merely 6 months old. Her mother often struggled to make ends meet as she raised three children while working at a General Motors plant. Despite these unfortunate limitations, Ms. Hall found the inner strength to excel in school and as a member of the police force in Detroit, where she quickly rose in the ranks.
Today, Renee Hall faces very different challenges. Despite having excelled throughout her career in Detroit and being well-qualified for her new role, she has been met with both underlying and overt opposition to her appointment as the new police chief in Dallas. Her position places her in a role typically dominated by men, in a city, which, as Ms. Hall describes, “historically dislikes black people for no reason at all-other than the fact that they’re black.” Regardless, Renee Hall has found the strength to continue to overcome all the challenges put in her path and has slowly been gaining the respect and admiration of both her department and her community. She embodies the fortitude and resilience demonstrated by many great African American and female leaders and revolutionaries preceding her and her attitude and accomplishments should serve as an inspiration to all.
For more information on Renee Hall, I encourage you to read the article I came across in D Magazine, which can be found by clicking the following link: