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Reclaiming Our Time

The Importance of Black Women Running for Office in 2018 and Beyond

By Ariana Johnson

Throughout history, Black women have shown and proven that they are leaders and innovators in various areas entertainment, fashion, education, business, our families, and — of course — our communities. But now, there is a need for Black women to lead in another area: Politics.

Black women across the country are proudly responding to the call.

Time and time again, Black women are the ones who go to their local polling locations during election time and elect candidates up and down the ballot — from City Council, to Judges, to the President of the United States. All around Ohio and, yes, around the country, Black women organize and galvanize their fellow Melanin sisters in places of worship, greek organizations, book clubs and other women’s organizations. We have the power to mobilize communities and inspire our fellow sisters to not only vote, but become heavily involved in the civic process by hosting voter registration drives and supporting candidates that have the interests of Black women and Black families close at heart.

Considering all of the blatant social and political injustices, the deep-seated hostilities that have enabled the oppression of various racial and ethnic groups in this nation, particularly African Americans, the time has come for us to reclaim our rights and reclaim our time.

It’s time for Black women to leave the four walls of their street club, ward club, and PTA classrooms, and to enter into the hallowed halls of city councils, state legislatures, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House. We are the change we seek — leave it to us to create legislation that will benefit, enhance, and protect The Black Community.

In every community, you will find Black women serving as beacons of hope, lights that protect the community where they live in and rear their families. Now, it is time for their light to protect the defenseless on a much larger scale, and to permeate the hate that this country is becoming known for all over the world.

How do we do better?

I think there should be training classes encouraging the Black community, and Black women in particular, to run for office. Organizations both in the political and social justice realm should select people of color to represent Ohio’s future, and they should train them to be the next political leaders for their cities, state and country.

Here are a few resources to get you started if you are interested in running for an elected office or know someone who might be:

  1. leadohio.org  |  vision is to improve the social and economic well-being of Ohioans by recruiting and preparing leaders, in every corner of the state, to champion progressive policies | click to: learn more and indicate you’re interested to know about future potential-candidate training programs

  2. sheshouldrun.org  | mission is to expand the talent pool of women running for office in the United States by providing community, resources, and growth opportunities for aspiring political leaders | click to: ask a woman to run for office | click to: nominate yourself to run

It is time for Black women who have fires in their bellies and passion in their hearts to serve their communities and join their Ohio sisters Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, as well as sisters around the country who hold elected office like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congresswoman Mia love, Senator Kamala Harris, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver. These women represent the Black community, its backbone: Black women. Black mothers, aunts, cousins, sisters. We all know that Black Girl Magic is potent, but Black Girl Political Magic can change the world, society, and history forever.

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