FAMU President Elmira Mangum is celebrating Women’s History Month with some 150 Tallahassee women.
As the first permanent female president of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Elmira Mangum is a model for women’s achievement. Mangum says mentors can help young women fight for gender equality.
“One of the important things though about strength is that it actually gets passed down from generation to generation. And it is a gift that keeps on giving. The strength that our young women see in us gives them strength to pick up the mantle and to continue to carry on the work that we do,” she said.
One of those trail-blazing women is Eva Mannings, the first black staffer and editor at the Tallahassee Democrat. Mannings says the newspaper, like many aspects of life, was segregated when she started there in 1946.
“I did not have an office at the Tallahassee Democrat. I would do the news and slide it under one of the sliding doors on Wednesday night so that it would be ready for publication. It was a segregated activity, but that was all they had to offer,” she said.
Mannings says if men can walk on the moon, so can women. Reach for the stars, she says.