What Stacey Abrams' announcement means for Georgia and America

Stacey Abrams’ 2022 campaign for Georgia governor represents a generational opportunity for Black women in American politics. It’s a potential game-changer for parts of the South that continue to rely on voter suppression to retain power.

What Stacey Abrams' announcement means for Georgia and America
© Zach Gibson/Getty Images Former US Representative and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams is introduced before speaking at a Souls to the Polls rally supporting Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on October 17, 2021 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Abrams, who announced on her candidacy Wednesday on Twitter, is easily the highest-profile Black female political leader in the country who does not currently hold elected office. Abrams’ brilliance as a service-oriented leader, former elected official and voting-rights advocate places her in a long unbroken line of Black women organizers and activists who have sought to reimagine American democracy.

While she may not become the first Black woman governor in America, as a public figure and a candidate, Abrams represents an enduring tradition of radical democratic political activism by Black women. It’s one that has the potential to break down centuries-old structures of exclusion and violence that have not only marginalized Black women and the Black community but have also stifled America’s democratic progress.

Since losing a closely-fought 2018 Georgia governor’s race by a margin of 1.4 percentage points to Republican Brian Kemp, Abrams has emerged as America’s most prodigious voting-rights organizer and high-profile activist. The wording of her announcement speaks volumes about her experience in 2018 fighting back against her opponent’s efforts to keep tens of thousands of Georgians, disproportionately African American, from casting a ballot. She tweeted she is running now “because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background or access to power.”

In the aftermath of her 2018 defeat, Abrams organized the largest get-out-the-vote effort in the history of the Peach State, helping Democrats to reclaim the US Senate through the victories of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, while also pushing President Joe Biden to an unexpected victory there.

Abrams’ rising national star found her in contention to be Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, a position that ultimately went to the more politically centrist then-US Senator Kamala Harris from California. A former Georgia State legislator with law and public policy degrees from Yale and the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs, respectively, Abrams has been an indefatigable political organizer, one with a jeweler’s eye for spotting talent.

Abrams’ work puts her in historic community with the bold work of Black women activists, freedom fighters and elected officials who came before her. Nineteenth century Black women suffragists including Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Mary Church Terrell battled racism, sexism and White supremacy for decades in an effort to secure citizenship and dignity for African Americans. They helped to model ways to combat intersectional oppression (by race, gender and class) and became exemplars of a powerful feminist call for expanding the nation’s democratic imagination to recognize and amplify Black women’s leadership. Terrell and Harper organized civil rights organizations, clubs and networks that centered Black women’s political voices, strategic innovations and democratic insights as integral to achieving freedom for the Black community and the nation as a whole.

Black women’s advocacy for a truly inclusive democracy resonates deeply in our own time as well. 2020’s racial and political reckoning heralded a long awaited national and global recognition of Black women’s organizing. From the grassroots moral and political crusade ignited by Black feminist leadership behind the Black Lives Matter Movement to the electoral organizing by Abrams and the election of the first Black woman vice president.

Abrams’ organizing and the votes of millions of Black women nationally helped to secure so many of the 2020 political victories for Democrats, yielding crucial dividends. Bolstered Democratic power allowed for passage of a pandemic bill that centered racial equity and the recent infrastructure package, the largest investment of its kind made in generations. The bill includes $65 billion dollars aimed toward reversing decades of racial disparities in infrastructure spending, although how to spend this money is left largely up to individual states. While these policy and legislative victories are still in progress, they would not have been possible without Black women’s organizing at the grassroots, service-oriented leadership in the electoral, nonprofit, religious, business and public sector arenas, and their inspirational belief that America’s best days are ahead of us if we are courageous enough to prioritize people over punishment.

In Congress, the voices of progressive Black women, such as Reps. Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri have pushed the Democratic Party to champion bold, innovative and inclusive policies on a scale that matches the enormous challenges of this current moment. This past summer, Congresswoman Bush leveraged enough pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden to get the president to sign a 60-day eviction moratorium, an issue that aided countless low-income communities facing housing insecurity amidst the pandemic and its various recurrences.

There is so much more work that needs to be done. Whether or not she is elected in Georgia next year, Abrams is uniquely positioned to push for the progress we need.

Abrams faces stiff political headwinds, particularly thanks to GOP voter suppression efforts and, thus far, the failure of the Democratic Party to pass voting rights legislation ahead of next year’s midterms. Historically, the party in power suffers significant losses in midterm elections, a byproduct of historical trends, dampened voter enthusiasm for incumbents, and renewed energy by voters supporting the party out of power. Democrats’ inability to pass voting rights protections, especially for a state such as Georgia which is trending blue, makes it more difficult for Abrams to make history by becoming the first Black woman elected governor. Ever.

What Stacey Abrams' announcement means for Georgia and America
© Kelvin Ma/Tufts University/Kelvin Ma/Tufts University Peniel Joseph

Yet this is also a time of great promise and generational opportunities. Abrams’ willingness to engage in the hard work of democracy offers an important example to future leaders, especially young Black girls and women who often witness a political arena that devalues everything but, sometimes, their votes. An Abrams victory in Georgia, the state where the reorganized Ku Klux Klan came once again to life in 1915, would reflect a startling New South, one more than a century and half in the making, delayed by racial violence and terror after the Civil War, but no longer denied.

Georgia is also the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the celebrated civil rights leader whose vision of turning America into a “Beloved Community” free of racial oppression, economic injustice and violence still calls out to us today. In fact, Warnock, who became the first Black senator elected from the Peach State, presides over King’s former pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Abrams’ endorsement of Warnock proved pivotal to his runoff victory over Republican Kelly Loeffler, a win whose cascading effect of enormous Black voter turnout helped to push Ossoff over the top as well.

Abrams reminds us that, in the words of prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba, “hope is a discipline.” It’s the kind of discipline that illuminates a potential path beyond the Big Lie of the stolen 2020 presidential election, disingenuous and toxic anti-critical race theory legislation and a politics of fear aimed at furthering our divisions.

Her example informs even as it inspires. Abrams’ commitment to a vision of American democracy expansive enough to see a progressive Black woman lead the state of Georgia is a stirring call for civic engagement, robust democracy and equal citizenship that should serve as a model for a new generation of public servants.

News Related


Declan Rice drops Man Utd compliment into West Ham post-match interview

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has been linked with a move to Manchester United in the past, and his comments after his team’s defeat at Old Trafford won’t do ... Read more »

Pierre Gasly Is a #1 Driver

Over the past two seasons, Pierre Gasly has become a race winner, a consistent presence in the final round of qualifying, and, most significantly, the first-ever lasting #1 driver at ... Read more »

Double gold for Canadian men's, women's snowboard teams at World Para event

© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/File Alex Massie of Barrie, Ont., staked Canada’s men’s Para snowboard team to a 0.55-second lead in Saturday’s four-team final and then watched Tyler Turner secure the ... Read more »

Peru declares 'environmental emergency' on coastal area hit by oil spill

© Ernesto BENAVIDES People take part in a demonstration against the Spanish oil company Repsol in Lima, on January 21, 2022 after the spill of some 6,000 barrels of crude ... Read more »

Omicron ‘sub-variant’ throws up new virus questions

© Provided by Al Jazeera A Nepalese man reacts as a health worker collects a swab sample during a COVID-19 antigen test in Dakshinkali municipality, on the outskirts of Kathmandu ... Read more »

Cabin crew aghast as ‘rude' air passenger eats tray of lobster on plane – but it's ‘not against rules'

FLIGHT attendants have been left gobsmacked at a picture of one lavish passenger who brought an ENTIRE tray of lobsters aboard her flight. While most frequent flyers tend to avoid ... Read more »

No. 2 Auburn extends win streak to 15 by beating No. 12 Kentucky

© John Reed-USA TODAY Sports Auburn forward Walker Kessler led the Tigers in scoring with 19 points. The No. 2 Auburn Tigers are still the top dog in SEC men’s ... Read more »

British national jailed in Iran begins hunger strike: family

© Daniel LEAL Anoosheh Ashoori, pictured with his wife Sherry Izadi, is one of over a dozen foreign nationals detained in Iran A British national held in Iran for four-and-a-half-years ... Read more »

'Multiple' dogs may have been sickened by rat-transmitted illness: NYY official

3 dogs die after visiting same Brooklyn park See more videos What to watch next 'In some political peril': Commentator on Sinema censure Former Clinton White House adviser and CNN ... Read more »

Sunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion

© Associated Press Sunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Mounting fears of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine are expected to dominate this ... Read more »

VIDEO: USMNT’s Yunus Musah gives Valencia lead with superb goal

The USMNT is set to reconvene for three more 2022 World Cup qualifiers this week, and it’s quite clear that midfielder Yunus Musah thought Saturday would be the perfect time ... Read more »

CDC, State Department warns Americans “do not travel” to the Caribbean & other nations due to COVID-19

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. The U.S. Centers for ... Read more »

Katie Price facing JAIL after she's arrested ‘over texts to Kieran Hayler's fiancee Michelle Penticost'

KATIE Price is facing JAIL after being arrested for allegedly texting her ex Kieran Hayler's new fiancee. The reality star, 43, was only released at 3pm today following a quizzing ... Read more »

2 Marines killed in Camp Lejeune truck crash identified

Two teenage Marines were killed Wednesday when a military truck rolled over near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Lance Cpl. Jonathan Gierke, 19, and Pfc. Zachary Riffle, 18, were identified ... Read more »

Act fast: Darn good Delta deal alert with tickets starting at 5,000 SkyMiles

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. Delta Air Lines is ... Read more »

Security beefed up in Washington DC ahead of major anti-vaxx rally

Authorities and businesses in Washington DC are beefing up their security operations ahead of a major anti-vaccine mandate protest. Law enforcement agencies are worried that the potentially large demonstrations against ... Read more »

Bungie ‘investigating' connectivity issues for Destiny players

© Provided by Dot Esports Bungie is investigating an issue that is preventing Destiny and Destiny 2 players from logging into the game, according to its support page, Bungie Help. ... Read more »

Premier League: Spora niespodzianka! Manchester City zatrzymany przez Bednarka i spółkę

© PAP/EPA/VINCE MIGNOTT Southampton FC – Manchester City Do sporej niespodzianki doszło na St. Mary’s Stadium, gdzie w meczu 23. kolejki Premier League Southampton FC zremisował z Manchesterem City 1:1. ... Read more »

Dobre wieści od Adama Małysza. Kubacki i Stoch będą trenować w Zakopanem

© FOT.EXPA/NEWSPIX.PL / newspix.pl Dawid Kubacki i Kamil Stoch Adam Małysz w rozmowie z Patrykiem Pancewiczem z TVP Sport zdradził, że Kamil Stoch i Dawid Kubacki będą w niedzielę trenować ... Read more »

Kia Niro EV Long-Term Review, Part 10: Let's Talk Maintenance

Auto123 puts the Kia Niro EV to the long-term test. Today, part 10. It’s always a good idea to take good care of your things. They will keep their good ... Read more »

Jack Grealish is failing to justify his Man City price tag

It was always going to be a challenge for Jack Grealish to justify a £100m transfer fee, a number that made him England’s most expensive player ever. But he is ... Read more »

I was nervous of doing Loose Women because of the feud rumours – people always want women to row, says Frankie Bridge

FRANKIE Bridge is a girl’s girl. Having been in The Saturdays since she was 18, she loves being around other women and knows more than most how unhelpful it is ... Read more »

Positive or negative: Self-test kits causing Covid confusion?

New Delhi As Covid-19 cases continue to be high in the Capital, various self-testing rapid antigen kits for Covid detection have been flying off the shelves. Many are picking up ... Read more »

Experts question Centre's policy on Netaji, INA's illustration in Constitution of India

© Provided by The Statesman Experts question Centre’s policy on Netaji, INA’s illustration in Constitution of India It took nearly five decades to bring to light the original Constitution of ... Read more »

Michael Stewart brands tackle on Celtic star Yosuke Ideguchi 'indefensible' as Japanese midfielder lucky to walk away

Michael Stewart feels Yosuke Ideguchi was lucky to avoid a broken leg as he branded Mouhamed Niang’s tackle indefensible. The Alloa man caught the Celtic midfielder high with a raised ... Read more »

Video shows struggle that preceded restrained teen's death

The Associated PressThis still image from a security camera provided by Sedgwick County shows Cedric “CJ” Lofton struggling with staff on Sept. 24, 2021 at the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake ... Read more »

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi pulls out of Italian presidential race

© Piero Cruciatti, AFP Billionaire former premier Silvio Berlusconi announced Saturday he will not run for Italy’s presidency, ending his improbable candidacy two days before voting begins in parliament. The ... Read more »

State has released only 7 bureaucrats on Central service against 82 quota

© Provided by The Statesman State has released only 7 bureaucrats on Central service against 82 quota The Mamata Banerjee government has released only seven IAS officers for Central deputation ... Read more »

Peacemaker Just Casually Bested Every DCEU Movie In One Major Way

Courtesy of HBO Max Filmmaker James Gunn made a major splash in the world of superhero movies in 2014 with the MCU film “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Despite having to ... Read more »

Sharp fall in cop revamp funds as states fail to utilise them

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: The home ministry released Rs 103 crore and Rs 89 crore under the central scheme for ‘assistance to states for modernisation ... Read more »

The Other Two's Heléne Yorke Reveals She Is Pregnant with Her First Child — See Her Baby Bump!

© Provided by People Dia Dipasupil/Getty Helene Yorke Heléne Yorke is going to be a mom! The Other Two star, 36, showed off her baby bump Saturday in an Instagram ... Read more »

Toddler Slapping Dad to 'Make Sure He's Alive' After Being Left With Dead Mom: Lawyer

© PABLO MONSALVE / VIEWPRESS VIA GETTY IMAGES Above, a man experiencing homelessness sits in the rain on April 24, 2020, in New York City. A toddler has been slapping ... Read more »

Apex Legends Leaks Hint at New 'Capture' Game Mode

© Provided by DBLTAP Apex Legends leaker Shrugtal sparked rumors of a new game mode in Season 9, when they found a codenamed game mode labeled “Capture.” Then, in Season ... Read more »

Chandler Predicts Early Finishes For UFC 270

© Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC The UFC 270 pay-per-view (PPV) card is becoming increasingly difficult to predict, but UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler is here to shed some light ... Read more »

Panel finds 'unspoken code of silence' enables off-ice misconduct in CHL

Allegations of abuse against players and volunteers coupled with coverups by teams who field complaints are so widespread that they’ve turned off-ice misconduct into a “cultural norm” within the Canadian ... Read more »

An education: Matrics from Limpopo village mark a turbulent year

The school governing body made several pleas to the provincial department of education to request more teachers. But every request was met with the same response. © Copyright (c) Daily ... Read more »

Human remains found decades ago now tied to 1970s cold case

© Office of the District Attorney County of Riverside Linda LeBeau went missing in 1977, remains found in 1986 have now been identified as belonging to her – Office of ... Read more »

'Title race is on' - Liverpool fans say same thing after Man City draw at Southampton

Liverpool have been handed a new lease of life in the Premier League title race after Manchester City dropped points on Saturday evening. After 12 straight victories, City had to ... Read more »

Nusrat Ghani: Tory MP says she was told she was fired because of her ‘Muslimness’

A Tory MP has accused a Government whip of telling her that she was sacked from her ministerial post because her Muslim faith was “making colleagues uncomfortable”. Nusrat Ghani lost ... Read more »

Mother of alleged NYPD cop killer speaks on ‘distorted' mind of son after Harlem shooting

The mother of the gunman who allegedly killed an NYPD cop and critically injured another in Harlem told The Post Saturday her son is mentally ill. “His mental state is ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic