The Marks of a Truly Educated Woman

Dear Daughters & YBW:

I have long been impressed with the Spelman woman. Please take notice with me a part of the mission statement of Spelman College:

“…Spelman promotes academic excellence in the liberal arts and develops the intellectual, ethical, and leadership potential of its students.” (Spelman College 2005-2006 Catalog)

When you think about the Spelman woman, you think of class, dignity, and leadership. What makes a Spelman woman appear that way? What are the marks of a truly educated black woman?

1. A truly educated woman has the utmost respect and love for God and for His Holy Word.

2. An educated woman carries herself with dignity, class, and grace.

3. An educated woman carries herself with a humble, quiet grace, yet her presence is powerful. She does not feel as though she needs to act masculine to exude authority and power.

4. An educated woman knows how to handle the natural aggressiveness of men with coolness, calmness, and without losing any respect from them.

5. An educated woman knows how to think on her feet, and how to speak clearly in any situation.

6. An educated woman understands the power of her eyes, and she knows how to control her eyes.

7. An educated woman knows how to express her thoughts through writing.

8. An educated woman knows how to think like a man when she needs to, and at the same time be all woman.

9. An educated woman knows her field very well. She is a professional.

10. An educated woman knows how to make both men and women feel at ease in her presence without losing respect.

11. An educated woman is disciplined and tough-minded.

12. An educated woman is discerning enough to say “no” to a man who doesn’t mean her any good.

Daughters and YBW, may I lovingly encourage you to be this kind of woman.

Yours for a Truly Educated Black Woman,


P.T. (Power-Thoughts):
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” – G.D. Boardman

“The person who knows `how’ will always have a job. The person who knows `why’ will always be his boss.” – Diane Ravitch

BIBLE GEM: “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.” – Proverbs 15:33

TALK TO GOD: Lord Jesus, I pray that You would make me to be a strong, smart woman. Make me to be a woman of class, dignity, and leadership. Give me Your grace to handle every situation in which I find myself. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.

BOOK: Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul, by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen


This chapter is an excerpt from my book, Letters to Young Black Women: Loving, Fatherly Advice and Encouragement for a Difficult Journey. Click here to find out more or to purchase the book online.