“Houston Style Magazine Recognizes History Maker Cheryl Waiters for Women’s History Month”
Dawn Paul | 3/21/2013, 8:23 p.m. | Updated on 3/21/2013, 8:23 p.m.
It’s easy to remember Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month, but did you remember that the month of March is Women’s History Month? Around this country there are celebrations honoring and highlighting the countless contributions of women to events in history and society. During this month Houston Style Magazine prides itself on celebrating women not only in Houston, but around this country as well.
Celebrating Women’s History Month, it could not be more fitting to speak with history maker Cheryl Waiters about her acclaimed memoir “Blood, Sweat and High Heels” featuring award winning novelist Darnella Ford. Waiters is the first African American female to gain historic and international recognition for working in a non-traditional work environment (construction) for females. Her memoir is a wake-up call that females still number less than 3% of this industry. She sheds light on the fact that when civil-rights were enacted those liberties did not always trickle down into the workplace. Despite unimaginable obstacles and adversity, she has been at the core of successfully constructing every major building project in Cleveland since the late 1980s.
I spoke with her for about an hour about her life, because when you have the rare opportunity to speak to someone like Cheryl Waiters, you better take advantage of every minute. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing many people, but interviewing Cheryl Waiters will be one of the most memorable ones.
After reading “Blood, Sweat and High Heels” and speaking to Waiters, I remember how important it is for us to want to be the “first.” Being the first comes with great responsibility and takes a rare brand of courage that very few possess. Being the first means that you have to take risks and many times stand alone, but in the end your selflessness will not only impact the present, but the future generation as well for the greater good. We need to not only admire people like Cheryl Waiters, but as women and human beings we need to follow her lead.
Cheryl Waiters spoke to Houston Style Magazine about “Blood, Sweat and High Heels.”
1.In your memoir, Blood, Sweat, and High Heels, you say, “Women are the co-heirs of the universe.” Do you think if more women had this mindset that we would not end up in certain situations that have a negative impact in our lives?
Absolutely. We need to understand our position physically and spiritually. If we understood that and had a firm foundation, it would strengthen us to participate more and fight more. This movement still needs to be carried on. We may not have to fight using the same methods, but we still have to fight. Sexism and racism are still going on.
2.You were the first African American female to gain historic and international recognition for your work in construction. There were those that came before you, but why do you think you were the first recognized?