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'If not now, when?': Black women seize political spotlight


MARIETTA
giddy.“Are
the Cobb County School Board
Associated Press
the Democratic Party
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Bev Jackson
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Positivity     50.00%   
   Negativity   50.00%
The New York Times
SOURCE: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/now-black-women-seize-political-spotlight-73071205
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Summary

But now she had been elected the only Black woman on the Cobb County School Board, gaining office in a once conservative suburban community where people who look like her rarely held positions of power.Something had changed in this place, and something had changed in her.“I love your hair — your hair looks like my hair,” the girl squealed, calling friends over.It was a moment both innocent and revealing: Not just a child seeing herself in an elected leader, but also a reflection of the rapidly building power of Black women. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday named Kamala Harris as his running mate, making the California senator the first Black woman on a major party's presidential ticket.The milestone comes after years of political work across America, where Black women have been running and winning elections in historic numbers, from Congress to county school boards.This transformation is taking place in once unlikely places, suburban counties in the South. Meanwhile, Lucy McBath, a Black mother whose 17-year-old son was killed by a white man who thought his music was too loud, won a congressional seat that includes part of the county, a district once held by conservative firebrand Newt Gingrich.Charisse Davis looked at the school board members and saw no Black women, so she ran and won. “What happened?”Across the county, there was soul searching over how Clinton lost white, working-class voters, but much less on why Democrats also lost some of the support of this core constituency.Historically Black women vote in extraordinary numbers, and they don’t vote alone: They usher their families, their churches, their neighbors to the polls.But in 2016, African Americans did not turn out in the numbers the party had come to expect. Black women made up about one-third of the Democratic voters in the state and roughly two-thirds voted for Biden, according to the AP VoteCast survey.Biden quickly pledged to pick a woman as his running mate, and selected Harris from a list of that included several Black contenders — including California Rep. Karen Bass, who neatly summed up Black women's goals: “representation, acknowledgement, inclusion,” she said.Those who advocate for Black women in politics say the stakes have never been higher.They emphasize that Trump’s administration has failed to contain the coronavirus that has killed more than 154,000 Americans, a disproportionate share of them African Americans. He has responded to mass demonstrations over police violence by calling protesters thugs and encouraging law enforcement to beat them back with force.“Given how directly Black women have been impacted by the incompetence and the malfeasance of the Trump administration, Black women are going to be at the forefront, not only giving rise to voter turnout, but also shaping the conversations that we will be having in this election season,” said Abrams, who was also considered a possible Biden running mate. They account for less than 5% of officeholders elected to statewide executive offices, Congress and state legislatures, according to the Higher Heights survey.“Black women have done everything that America told us was going to make us successful and we’re still at the bottom in terms of our return,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.Black women are posting faster educational gains than any other demographic group in the U.S. Then why does the wealth not reflect that?”As a result, said Bev Jackson, chair of the Democratic Party’s Cobb County African American caucus, Black women have a special resiliency: They have no safety net, so Black women just learn to walk the tightrope better.Jackson thought about how much she wished her parents had lived to see a Black woman come so close to the Governor’s Mansion. She grew her hair out again.Charisse Davis said that it is these young women who give her hope for a better day: They are idealistic, coming of age in a time when Black women are rising, and they can look around, see people like themselves and believe anything is possible.She knows an 18-year-old named Audrey McNeal.

As said here by CLAIRE GALOFARO and KAT STAFFORD Associated Press