Maya Angelou’s exciting “Phenomenal Woman” poem gives a definitive description of why her “head’s not bowed.”  The poet’s illustration is one of an incredible woman of grace and style as one who possesses an “inner mystery.”

The Harmony Club of Homestead hosted their annual Dorothy Lance-Vivian Weems Scholarship Luncheon to over 200 phenomenal women at West Mifflin’s Westwood Golf Club on April 9.

Observing the 112th anniversary, the charitable organization continues to “lift as we climb.” This unified group of ladies award annual scholarships to the highest ranking minority students in the Steel Valley and West Mifflin area school districts.

The dynamic theme for the afternoon of pride and positivity was inspired by the poem of which so many women relate. From the warm welcome to an afternoon of varied activity, those in attendance departed with their heads held a little higher. Florida resident and former Homestead native Darlene Allen Matthews delivered a speech emitting the affirmation of a sisterhood of self-respect.

Describing the diverse hats that women have always adorned throughout history, Matthews articulated the defining roles that challenge women in today’s society. Integrating the correlation between one’s spiritual, professional and personal life, she discussed the incredible gifts women possess. Capturing the essence of the style and grace in Angelou’s description, the Vice President of Matthews Automotive Group offered her expertise on balancing the unique roles through the steps of her own growth and ultimate success. In an intense speech of substance, the sophisticated lady reiterated to attendees the well-defined description of faith, family and sisterhood.

Footsteps tapped to the West African beat of the Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble. The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Africana Studies’ energetic dance troupe surprised the audience with an engaging performance that embraced the rhythm of history.

The inspiration of spirituality took center stage as the foot tapping continued to the soulful gospel sounds of the Male Chorus of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. The gentlemen, rising to the occasion, confirmed Angelou’s phenomenal woman theory from a man of faith’s perspective in song.

The scholarship recipients of the 2011 Harmony Club are Kaleen Cunningham of the Steel Valley Senior High School, who will be attending Spelman College in Atlanta, and Mackenzie DiDominic of West Mifflin Senior High, who will attend the University of Pittsburgh.

This year’s event proved to be another feather in the hats of a group of women who balance their lives while continuing to give to others. Current president of the Harmony Club is Aldine Coleman and co-chairs of the “Phenomenal Women” luncheon were Cynthia McEnheimer and Kathleen Randolph.

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