Photo from Blavity: Politics
THIS CENTURY ALONE has seen more diverse faces in politics than there has ever been in American history. With the likes of Stacey Abrams, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Lauren Underwood, women of color’s voices are roaring after years of being silenced. With as many BIPOC female politicians working for the federal government, it’s a sight that, centuries ago, was unimaginable.
But as more Black women enter the political field, it leaves many asking why is this just now happening? After centuries of Black women fighting on the front lines and climbing to get a seat at the table, it appears just recently that people allowed Black women a seat at that table and an opportunity to voice issues plaguing the community.
So what was stopping them? Was it illegal for them to be in office or something? Well, yes, and no. It’s no secret that the United States had extremely discriminatory laws prohibiting black women from serving in office. If Black people were stuggling to vote in their home states, it would impossible to run for office. However, once those laws changed, it was still extremely challenging for Black women to be elected into office.
Not only was it extremely difficult, but it was also highly discouraged.
Since America’s inception, Black women’s voices have been minute in society. While America was built on the backs of Black women, we were simultaneously being silenced and hidden—and when we voiced our opinions they labeled us “angry”.