Since Black turnout surged in Alabama’s special Senate election, there have been calls from across the country to look to Black women as the heroes of our democracy — you know, #TrustBlackWomen. And these cries aren’t wrong…entirely. Frankly, it’s about time.
Black women are amazing. They’re our mamas, our aunties, our sisters, and, well, US! And statistically, Black women’s voting habits tend to fall on the right side of history. From that 98% of Black women who pushed Doug Jones over the finish line, to the 96% that pushed over Ralph Northam and previously, Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, Black women have led the charge in pushing policies that are better for the environment, for civil rights, for reproductive freedom and economic justice. And this doesn’t only happen at the state and local level. While 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump, 96% of Black women voted against xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred, sexism and white supremacy. From where we sit, the progressive future is surely Black and femme.
But that’s not the whole story. Not by a long shot. To only look at our voting patterns and not the incredible grassroots organizing efforts that turn Black voters out, you’re missing out! In Alabama, organizations like Black Voters Matter Fund, and the Black Belt Community Foundation crafted an infrastructure, strategy and messaging based on firsthand knowledge of their state and the issues impacting folks there. In Virginia, InCharge: Black Women Taking Action, contacted over 5000 voters during the final weekends of the campaign. What this country needs is not only to vote like us, but to learn from us, to fund our ideas and to support our candidates.
With that, we are uplifting this list of Black women who are running for office right now. We are also uplifting this list of Black-led organizations in Alabama. We gotta remember– voting is a tool. A powerful tool! But it’s not the only tool.
Get engaged, get organized and keep building in 2018. And, yeah– #TrustBlackWomen.
– Aimée & Brooke (and the whole #WeBuiltThis fam)
This post originally appeared on the #WeBuiltThis blog at www.webuiltthis.org.