It’s About Time We Give Black Women Credit
Black women played a pivotal role in electing Joe Biden and continue to be the most important bloc in getting Black people to vote.
2020 was a year of many things, but it was also the year that showed the power of Black women. From Stacey Abrams to Kamala Harris, Black women played an integral role in getting Black people to vote for Democrats. Their influence within the Black community is nothing new, but it is about time we give credit to Black women for their outsized role in elections.
Having to combat racism and sexism, Black women play a special role in society. Battling this intersectionality all of their life, Black women play an outsized role in advocating for their communities because they have no natural shield to protect themselves from attacks. They understand that the best way in protecting themselves is through voting. Andre M. Perry writes in To protect Black women save America from itself, elect Black women,
When we support and protect Black women, we begin to chip away the culture of physical violence that is normalized in policy in America. Suspensions and expulsions, physical violence, political underrepresentation, and lower pay all reflect a culture of American violence and devaluation. Black women’s experiences give them a unique perspective that can shed light on how racism and sexism stratify groups.
Even with voting, Black women have to combat voter suppression that is often found in American politics. This was evidenced by Stacey Abrams who lost her Gubernatorial election to Brian Kemp through voter suppression tactics that included voting roll purges and strict registration rules historically known to impact minority voters. However, instead of allowing the moment to define her legacy, Abrams refocused her efforts on flipping Georgia for the 2020 Presidential election.
Black women have a resiliency that few other groups in America can match. Their special role in society makes them a unique candidate to change it for the better. This is evidenced by someone like Abrams who took her gubernatorial defeat and succeeded in registering 800,000 residents to vote. This allowed for Biden to win Georgia, which hadn’t been won by Democrats since 1992. None of this would have happened without the help of Black women. Biden knew the power of Black women which is why he went for Harris as his VP pick.
Once a rival to Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, Harris was chosen to appeal to Black voters. More specifically, Harris was picked for her ability to speak and appeal to Black women. Harris acknowledged the importance of Black women shortly after the Biden-Harris ticket won when she tweeted,
I want to speak directly to the Black women in our country. Thank you. You are too often overlooked, and yet are asked time and again to step up and be the backbone of our democracy. We could not have done this without you.
Black women are the backbone of our democracy. They are the reason Black voters show up to vote. They pick up the slack for Black men who do not vote in as high of numbers. In fact, in the 2020 Presidential election, Black women were the largest group to vote for Democratic candidates. This was evidenced back in June when 87% of registered Black women voters identified as Democrats.
It is about time we give Black women the credit they deserve. Black women consistently show up for Democratic candidates, advocate for their communities, and understand the intersectionality of prejudice better than anyone in this country. Politicians like Abrams and Harris are Black women that successfully pushed beyond these struggles. Without Black women, Biden wouldn’t have won. Black women are a smart investment because they are leaders in their community and oftentimes are the determining factor in voter turnout.
In a much closer election than expected, Black women more than ever need all the credit and recognition for their power and influence in getting people to vote. They are the reason America avoided 4 more years of Trump. We now have a chance to save our environment, give a real chance to middle-class families, fight for injustice, protect immigrants, and fight this pandemic.
Thank you, Black women.