Women are challenging the status quo more than ever right now. They are speaking out, creating strong support networks and will no longer be silenced. We have seen a particular amount of strength and inspiration from Black women. After all it was Black women that showed up at the polls in Alabama in December and outvoted all other demographics.
This is why Luvvie Ajayi, author of I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual and her friends, Sili Recio, Lucrecer Braxton and Candace Jones, launched Black Women in Politics, a database of all Black women running for office in 2018. As of today, the Rolodex has 462 Black women candidates running for office this year.
“There are Black women running for political office all over the United States, and we need to know who they are,” the site says. “It is abundantly clear that we need to start following the lead of Black women, because we show up and do what is important, even when we are being disenfranchised and sabotaged from doing the work.”
The women, who connected in a Facebook group, composited the list with just good old fashioned Google and social media searches.
“Mainly, we just started doing it so that people could start doing some research and know who was out there,” Braxton told Broadly. “It’s been good to hear some people say they actually had no idea that they had someone running in their district.”
Though there is clearly a “pink wave” happening right now as the number of women working to get elected has risen significantly since last November-390 women plan to run for the House of Representatives, which is the highest number in history for this-but what was not clear was the number of Black women that were doing this. That is why this database is absolutely imperative. The number of Black women currently in office is staggeringly low. Out of 105 women currently in Congress, 18 are Black; of 74 women serving in statewide elective executive offices, two are Black and in the 100 largest cities in the country, only 6 have Black women as mayors, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
“America got one more confirmation that Black women are superheroes who save the day time and time again,” Ajayi wrote after the Alabama election. “I am tired of the world being run into the ground by white men who prove time and time again that they are ill-equipped.”
Let’s get more superheroes out there.