March is Women’s History Month all over the US, and to celebrate all those wonderful women AND keep things close to home, we wanted to take some time to remember two super strong women from Goldsboro-Wayne County.

First up— Gertrude Weil, a humanitarian and reformer who was super important when it came to social and political change. She loudly and firmly believed that all people are equal, no matter their age, race or gender. We couldn’t agree more, Gertrude! After graduating college, Gertrude came back to live in Goldsboro (smart lady!) to work for several charities and became involved in the women’s suffrage movement. She was so committed to women’s voting rights that in the first election women were allowed to vote, she ripped up hundreds of ballot papers when she realized they were pre-marked. What’s more, Gertrude fought for justice when it came to the rights and treatment of children and African Americans with just as much energy. Once, a public pool was closed to African Americans, so Gertrude persuaded land and money to be donated for a better pool to be built for them to enjoy. Well into her eighties, she hosted bi-racial committee meetings in her home!

Next up – Shirlette Ammons. You might recognize her face on the North Carolina African American Music Trail Mural located on the side of the 100 N. Center Street in downtown Goldsboro. A poet, musician and writer, Shirlette grew up in Mount Olive and was influenced by her rural roots, which she uses to shape her music today. A hugely gifted singer and writer, she’s one of the few artists who can slide from blues, to hip hop, and back again, with a bit of poetry thrown in for good measure. She’s also got some smart things to say on people and the world in general, telling that in her music, “I wanted to look inside and offer a personal portrait but hopefully talk about stuff that a lot of folks are experiencing or thinking about particularly those of us who are quite happy being left of ‘normal.’” Inspirational words for sure!

We’re pretty proud that Goldsboro-Wayne County can call itself home to such strong and go-get-’em women. This March, take a moment to thank all the amazing women in your life, and all those women before us.

Here’s to strong women:

May we know them.

May we be them.

May we raise them.


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