A Taste of U.S. History: Strong Southern Women

 Barbara McNally in Georgia

Barbara McNally in Georgia

"Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go." --James Arthur Baldwin

I'm spending the week in Tennessee and Georgia in preparation for this coming weekend's I Can Do It! conference in Atlanta, where I will be signing copies of my book, Unbridled: A Memoir.

It's bound to be an amazing weekend. And, in the meantime, I've been enjoying my time exploring the region and taking in the southern charm, the Smoky Mountains and interacting with all of the strong, southern women around me.

Honestly, I am noticing several similarities to my homeland of Ireland -- the fiddle music, the whiskey, the rolling green hills. And the women have a similar fighting spirit to that of the Irish.

These women are rooted in the history of our nation. And their strength is a reminder of the strength we all have within us to set and reach our own goals.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriett Tubman, Margaret Mitchell, Rosa Parks and Sally Ride are some of the more well-known examples of strong, southern women in our history, but the Website GeorgiaJanet.com is filled with essays describing some of the region's lesser-known heroines, like Rebecca Latimer Felton, who was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, and Alice Coachman, the first African American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics.

It's been an inspiring environment to explore, to say the least.

How has learning about your past helped strengthen who you are today?

Photo: By Barbara McNally