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The 1st Black Woman to Reach the North and South Poles Has the Best Advice for You

Black Women in the News

The 1st Black Woman to Reach the North and South Poles Has the Best Advice for You

By Anne Branigin via


In 2011, Barbara Hillary, a 79-year-old retired nurse, became the first black woman to reach the South Pole. Just four years earlier, Hillary stood on top of the world as the first black woman to ski the North Pole—a mere two years after a bout with cancer.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation recently caught up with the now-87-year-old trailblazer, who not only hasn’t lost her sense of adventure but has some incredible life advice to share.

“When I retired from nursing, I wanted to do something. And I wanted to be surrounded by interesting people,” Hillary told the CBC. “So I looked at cruise ships, and I said to myself, that is death. Imagine being stuck on a ship with married people—boring!”

(Wow, don’t think because Ms. Hillary is on pension she ain’t a savage. Hanging out with you dull married hoes—not for her!)

“And then I saw an ad: photograph polar bears, and I ….

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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