Is America Ready to Recognize Black Women's Transformational Power?

Illustration for article titled Is America Ready to Recognize Black Womens Transformational Power?
Photo: Photo by Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Black women, as a political force, as cultural drivers and influencers, have arguably never been more visible in American political culture. They helped Doug Jones win a Senate seat over Republican judge (and accused pedophile) Roy Moore. They are among the left’s most reliable voting blocs and will be key to Democrats’ hopes this November. They have formed and organized movements around the importance of black and brown lives and have remained among Donald Trump’s most vocal opponents (and his frequent targets). But while it seems like more and more people are willing to give black women their due, the question remains: Is America willing to let black women take the lead?

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That, as well as other pertinent political conversation, will be part of a discussion the Center for American Progress, partnered with The Root, will seek to answer next week as it hosts a panel on the power of black women. The panel, to be held on Martha’s Vineyard on Monday, Aug. 13, will feature former Barack Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, journalist April Ryan, author and scholar Rev. Dr. Renita Weems and Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and principal for the Black Futures Lab.

Moderated by The Root’s Editor-in-Chief, Danielle Belton, the panel will discuss how to ensure that black women are centered in policy and political discussions at both the local and national level. In a press release, the CAP also noted that the panelists, who bring a wide array of experiences and expertise in media, politics, and social justice, will explore “concrete steps needed to push beyond the status quo and fully realize the transformational power that black women bring to the table.”

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This is the third year in a row the CAP has hosted a discussion on race and politics. Last year’s conversation centered on the power of black media during the Trump administration.

Staff writer, The Root.

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DISCUSSION

“Is America Ready to Recognize Black Women’s Transformational Power?”

My magic 8 ball says “no”.

Though I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of “if ONLY more Black people had voted for Bernie Sanders, we wouldn’t be IN this mess!!1

Also in a week there’ll probably be an article about Kylie Jenner’s* transformational power, or how thin middle class white women wearing pussy-hats saved the soul of our country.

* That article would be legit. She looks like a totally different person now.