I know many of my readers are exhausted with politics. New York City just had an election season in which many incumbents cruised to victory, and a little more than half of America looks at the politics in Washington, D.C., in utter disbelief and disgust. I have dedicated my life to studying and teaching American politics, so no matter how ugly or disheartening our current political system seems, I am always able to find a silver lining. And I have definitely found a 2018 election that has me so excited, hopeful, and ready to work!
I am currently following the Georgia governor’s race in 2018. There is a young African-American woman named Stacey Abrams who is currently the House Minority Leader in Georgia and she is running for governor of Georgia. When I tell you she is the real deal, I have never seen this combination of brains, passion and political intellect in one package. Here are just a few highlights: Stacey decided to channel her dedication to civic engagement by founding the New Georgia Project, which registered more than 200,000 voters of color between 2014 and 2016.
A graduate of Spellman College and Yale Law School, she helped pay for graduate school by authoring eight award-winning romantic suspense novels, which have sold more than 100,000 copies. She writes under the pen name Selena Montgomery, fyi. She is also the co-founder of NOW Account, a financial services firm that helps small businesses grow. Her dedication to creating and retaining jobs in Georgia has been a modern day success story for thousands of Georgia residents.
Of course there are sinister politics at play, rumors that a Black woman could never win statewide, Democrats believing that a white woman should be at the top of the ticket to oppose the Republican challenger and an overall lack of belief that the residents of Georgia will respond to a politician who has a proven track record of public service and results. However, these negative asides have not deterred Abrams or her growing list of supporters. I have had the opportunity to meet Abrams, and during her speech she told the residents of Georgia that “she is coming for them!” She is dedicated to making their lives and the lives of their children better, more equitable, accessible, all while working everyday while in the governor’s mansion—the same home to which she was once denied entry after winning a prestigious statewide award and arriving by bus instead of a fancy car.
If you are feeling dejected by today’s politics, Abrams is a reason to feel renewed, energized and eager to work on behalf of a Black woman who, if she wins, will become the very first African-American female governor in the history of the United States. I am ready to make history with Stacey Abrams. Check her out at www.staceyabrams.com., and I guarantee you will be as excited as I am.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream” and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com. You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.