by Cameron Dinkins
Malcolm X once said, “the most disrespected person in America is the black woman.” Though disrespected, Black women helped change the political climate, they deserve to get the respect.
The special senate race in Alabama took place on December 12th to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions seat. Republican Roy Moore, an alleged sex offender, who also believes women and Islamic people should not vote. Democrat Doug Jones, who prosecuted the KKK after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four young black girls in 1963 were in a heated battle. Jones won over Moore in the election because of the terrific turnout by African Americans especially black women.
Doug Jones was behind Roy Moore in all polls leading up to the election, yet on election day he won, at the hands of black women.
According to exit polls, 98 percent of black women voted for Jones, unlike the 93 percent of black men, 32 percent of white women, and 23 percent of white men who voted from him.
During the Presidential election, black women were the only group to have over 90 percent vote for Hillary Clinton. It was a significant amount more than any other demographic even black men.
Black women continue to prove their awareness of politics. They continue to mobilize and come together to accomplish great things.
Black women are often disrespected in this country, presumed to be different stereotypes: loud, rambunctious, single mothers, etc. Yet, despite the perception of them, black women in Alabama regardless of what their socio-economic status went out in numbers and voted to make sure an alleged child predator did not win the election.
Black women played a significant role in electing the first Democratic Senator in the state of Alabama in 25 years. Black women understood their importance in this election. If Roy Moore would have won, a man who once said he thought slavery was good and also believes everything that happened in the civil rights movement should be scrapped would have gained significant political power. A man who seemingly could care less about the African American constituents in his state should not have political authority.
Black women continue to do things to help this country, but do not seem to get the same help in return. Black women have been at the forefront of many movements in the US, but their leadership is often overshadowed by others. Tarana Burke, a black woman was left off the Time Magazine Person of the Year cover, yet she is the woman who started the “Me Too” movement. Also, many fail to realize that two black women are the starters of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Working hard in leadership is something not new to black women. During the civil rights movement, black women were vital in gaining the rights they deserved. Long before then, women like Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells, made it their duty to fight for women’s right to vote.
For many black women, they were told at a young age that they are supposed to work ten times harder than their counterparts to get the respect they deserve. And in 2017, that seems to be even more evident.