by Raven Tyler
Black women are using their influence to create significant change at the voting polls.
In New Jersey, Virginia, and New York, Black women were the most populated group to show up at the polls and vote at the state elections on Nov. 7.
“Voting was very critical for everybody in the past few elections, but for Black women, we really did our thing, so happy that most of us expressed our right to vote,” stated Elsie Lyons, former postal worker and native of New York City.
According to the Washington Post, more than 90 percent of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and their loyalty in the polls has made its presence in the 2017 state elections as well.
For example, the Virginia statewide election calculated over 90% of Black women that voted, voted democratically. Black women are only 12% of the population in Virginia.
Not only are Black women coming to the polls in full force for the Democratic party, they are also being elected to offices.
Andrea Jenkins, a native of Chicago, became the first black-transgender woman to be elected to the Minneapolis city council on Nov. 7.
In addition to being an award winning poet and performance artist, Jenkins defeated three other candidates in the political race by gaining 73% of the Minneapolis vote.
Despite some of the public backlash she received from many across the country, Jenkins is looking to focus on implementing her campaign on police reform, affordable housing, and raising minimum wage for workers while she is in office.
While Jenkins feat is noteworthy she is not alone, other Black women across the nation have capitalized on these early November elections.
Yvonne Spicer, a native of Brooklyn, became the first Black mayor of Farmingham, Massachusetts and Vi Lyles, a politician originally from Columbia, South Carolina, became the first black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina after spending thirty years as a city administrator.
Black Women have gone from fighting for the right to vote to having their votes become influential in changing the landscape of American politics. Black Women are continuing to illustrate that the power of their voices cannot be ignored.