As black women, our very existence is political. It’s time for us — whether we’re in politics or not — to take the decision-making into our own hands.
We are women of color in America, which means that the very basis of our existence is political. We have not had the pleasure of living our lives distinctly separate from the political decisions that were made before we were born. From the days of our enslaved ancestors until today, our courses have been determined by the decisions made by others and pressed upon us, decisions that determined where we would live, the opportunities we would be afforded, the schools that would be available to us, and the career choices that would present themselves.
It’s time for us — and we mean all of us, whether we’re in politics or not — to take the decision-making into our own hands.
From New Orleans, Minneapolis and Charlotte to Charlottesville, Atlanta, Boston and San Francisco, black women have had impressive wins in recent city council, mayoral, state legislative, congressional and gubernatorial races. And black women voters turned out in record numbers, helping ensure decisive victories in New Jersey, Virginia and Alabama. But for far too long, the generational concerns of black women and girls have been under-prioritized and ignored, often lumped into broader conversations where the focus they require from decision makers is lost.
America needs a ‘homegirl intervention’
The four of us have been campaign leaders in every major election since Jesse Jackson 1984, supporting candidates who did not share our race, our gender or both. In fact, we rarely saw candidates in our own image. But the time has come to bring to the front of the pulpit all the wisdom, compassion, and leadership that comes from our unique intersectionality. As Professor Brittney Cooper writes in her book “Eloquent Rage,” “America needs a homegirl intervention in the worst way.”
We must dare to enter the halls of power. We must match our rage, eloquently, with hands-on, practical activity. We cannot sit back. As Leah often tells her congregation, “Sitting in church all day won’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage will make you a car.”
First, let’s remember our history. It’s time for women of color to take positions of power within political parties that have…