Does Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) stay winning? That’s what it certainly feels like, y’all.
According to Forbes, during a hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Pressley made sure that the chairman and everyone in attendance understood the role that the civil rights movement played in advancing economic opportunity for Americans. She particularly highlighted the role Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King played in fighting for policies that ensure full employment for all Americans who are able to work. Pressley said:
“Dr. King’s legacy is often reduced to just one speech, and the March on Washington often mischaracterized. The March on Washington was actually the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was a March for Economic Justice.
“And I take special claim to the fact that Dr. King and Coretta actually met in Boston. I represent Boston, and I don’t think she gets enough oxygen for the role that she played in the movement.
“And so, after Dr. King’s assassination, Coretta Scott King picked up the mantle, pushing the Fed to adopt a full employment mandate, and was actually standing behind President Carter as he signed the Humphrey-Hawkins Act into law. And that’s the reason you are here today.”
Whew, child, I just felt the spirits of the ancestors move through me simply by reading that. The only way the mic could’ve been dropped harder is if a gospel choir busted out with some mean-ass hums. Powell was a bit caught off guard and replied “First, thank you for that history, I didn’t know that. So that’s our goal, that’s what we’re working to do at all times,” in reference to full employment.
This was a dope ass moment, can’t even lie. Unfortunately, the civil rights movement has been relegated to easy to digest narratives that highlight the struggle without focusing on the full scope of the issues it encompassed. King’s efforts when it comes to economic reform are rarely if ever, brought up.
Thankfully, with folks like Ayanna Pressley in positions of power, maybe that will start to change.