Celebrating North Carolina Women that Have Made their Mark

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ABC News

A picture of famous poet Maya Angelou.

  The month of March marks a series of special events including the celebration of St. Patrick’s day and the start of Spring. What some may not know, is that it is also Women’s History Month. Women have come a long way into society, which we recognize and celebrate all throughout the month. 

  First there was a day; then a week; now a month. The origin of Women’s History Month actually started off as “National Women’s Day” in 1909. Over time this celebration became “Women’s History Week” in 1982. Progressing into Women’s History Month which we now celebrate nationwide.

  Famous figures such as Rosa Parks and Marie Curie are widely known around the nation, but do North Carolinians know about some iconic female figures from our own state? 

 

  • Patricia Timmon-Goodson

  Patricia Timmon-Goodson is the first black woman elected to serve on North Carolina’s Supreme Court. She was a Supreme Court judge from 2006 to 2012.

  Timmon-Goodson was born in South Carolina. She eventually grew up to attend college at  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she achieved a degree in the Arts. She then made her way to the University of North Carolina School of Law where she achieved her Masters of Law degree studying Judicial Studies. 

  Eventually Timmon-Goodson became the longest serving North Carolina Supreme Court Judge. After she retired, she decided to run for Congress in 2019 but lost to Richard Hudson. 

 

  • Helen Copenhaver Hanes

  The creator of many North Carolina art organizations, Helen Copenhaver Hanes, is also credited as the founder of the University of North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem. 

  Hanes has also helped establish the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Old Salem Museum and Gardens. 

  In honor of her passing, the school she founded created an award with her name called the Helen C. Hanes Friend of Education Award. 

 

  • Maya Angelou

  Yep, that’s right, Maya Angelou lived in North Carolina. Although she was born in St. Louis, Missouri, she spent a part of her life in North Carolina.

  The famous American poet is possibly most well known for her poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and her civil rights activism.

  Angelou spent 30 years of her life in Winston-Salem and during that time she taught at Wake Forest University and was a recipient of the North Carolina Award for literature in 1987. 

 

  These three women have made a lasting impact on both local and national history. They’ve created new beginnings and dreams for many people.