Black History Month: Stacey Abrams
Amongst the budding influential political figures the United States has to offer is Stacey Abrams. She exemplifies hard work, dedication, and passion, which is exactly what Black History Month celebrates.
Stacey Abrams was born on December 9, 1973 in Madison, Wisconsin. She is an American voting rights activist, politician, author, and former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives.
After graduating as valedictorian of her high school, Abrams attended college at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1999, Abrams graduated from Yale Law School.
In her early career, Abrams worked as a tax attorney who focused on tax exempt organizations as well as public finance. In 2002, at just 29 years old, Abrams took a job as the Deputy City Attorney of Atlanta.
From 2007-2017, Abrams represented the 89th district of Georgia House of Representatives. During that time, Abrams assisted in preserving the Georgia HOPE Scholarship for low income residents, improved on criminal justice reform, and worked on creating Georgia’s largest public transportation funding package. She also helped stop a bill from being passed that would increase taxes being paid.
In 2017 and 2018, Abrams ran for governor of Georgia against Republican Brian Kemp. According to Harper’s Bazaar, by running, she became the first Black woman to be a gubernatorial nominee (running to be a state governor) for a major U.S political party. Even though she lost, this campaign proved to be monumental for her political career.
In 2019 and 2020, Abrams was committed to fighting voter fraud and ensuring voter rights, especially during the presidential election. She founded Fair Fight 2020, which is an organization that built voter protection teams in many states, including Georgia. At the same time, she started the Southern Economic Advancement Project, which helps promote economic growth and prosperity in the South. In addition to this, she also helped create Fair Count, which is an organization that helped include communities of color, people in rural parts of the country, and other commonly unaccounted for groups in the 2020 U.S Census.
The Biden/Harris presidential outcome was largely helped by Georgia turning blue this election. Abrams is often credited with helping this happen, due to her social media activism and organizations that she founded all contributing to the presidential win. Her activism is also believed to have helped influence the outcome of the 2020 Senate run-off election, with Senators Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock making the Senate have a Democratic majority.
I picked Stacey Abrams to highlight during this Black History Month because she and the ideas she represents are great examples of American values: hard work, grit, and equality. She put a superb amount of work into her passion over the past few years and achieved an outcome that she strived for, and I think many young people can look up to her.
A quote I appreciated by Abrams is “We must use words to uplift and include. We can use our words to fight back against oppression and hate. But we must also channel our words into action.”
I adore this quote because I think it is the utter truth. It’s one thing to say that you’re going to do something, but that is basically meaningless if you don’t act upon that. Seeing this made me glad that Abrams believes this because she is in a high, influential position and has the power to change things for the better.