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DR. E. FAYE WILLIAMS

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—We’re not so far from a time when Black people were denied the right to vote.  These dismal times perpetuated slave-era subjugation of our community and foretold of a future without opportunity.  I’m not sure whether those who conspired to deny the vote to Black people, Black women particularly, understood how we’d use our vote, but they couldn’t have been happy guessing we’d vote in our own interests.

This couldn’t be truer for Black women.  Recently, including 2008 and 2012, Black women have participated in increasing numbers and solidarity against persons/policies that erode social gains made in the last half-century and reverse racial/gender equality and justice.

In the recent high-profile Alabama Senate race, despite efforts to elect alleged pedophile, Roy Moore, Black women, casting 98 percent vote for Doug Jones, led to victory and a 96% Black repudiation of Moore.  Combined with other recent elections, we understand the significance and power in our vote, especially that of Black women.

Let’s look beyond elections under national scrutiny. My home state, Louisiana, is a case-in-point. When I ran for Congress, few women ran for office, but, look at Louisiana now! A long list of cities, towns and villages now have Black female mayors. They don’t just serve in smaller jurisdictions. The state’s 3 largest cities—New Orleans, Shreveport and Baton Rouge—have Black women mayors.  Having run for office in Louisiana and knowing the dangers and challenges of doing so, I’m naturally ecstatic about this progress.

It’s not hyperbole to state that no women have ever had to endure what this nation’s Black women have had to endure. Yet, despite the rigors of our circumstance, we enthusiastically strive for the betterment of ourselves, our children, families, and our nation.

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