As primary season bears swiftly upon the nation in the lead-up to November’s midterm elections, a fresh slate of black women candidates are making waves — and their ascension couldn’t be more timely.
Discussing the rise of women like Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, political commentator and advocacy executive Angela Rye told the Washington Post that after the 2016 election, the time for black women running for (and winning) elected seats is now.
“What I am banking on at this point is supporting people who I know have always supported me and my community,” the CNN and NPR commentator said. “That does not mean that there are not wonderful candidates who are white allies. But what I am saying is I’m not waiting around. I’m not going to ask permission.”
“I’m going to do what I know is the right thing to do and support the leader that has supported these people,” Rye said of Abrams, who she campaigned for ahead of today’s Democratic primary. If she wins the primary and the general election, Abrams would become the first black woman governor in American history.
“I reject the notion that we can make special exceptions for some people,” Rye told the Post. “The times are challenging and we need to grow our political power, and we need to ensure that we are putting people in office that are bold and brave and pushing our agenda and unafraid and work hard.”
Black women have already made significant wins in earlier primaries, the Post report noted.
“Linda Coleman, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District; Dee Thornton, the Democratic candidate for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District seat; and Vanessa Enoch, the Democratic candidate for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District” have all made gains in their primaries, though their elections are likely to be won by GOP opponents.