By Anesia Byrdwell
Hermene Hartman, publisher of N’DIGO magazine, along with Eileen Rhodes and Elzie Higginbottom recently hosted an intimate conversation and book signing with Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Minyon Moore, and Leah Daughtry at the Blanc Gallery in Bronzeville. The crowd of over 100 people eagerly anticipated hearing the co-authors share the person behind the book “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics.”
The four offered insights from a female political perspective to readers and the politically curious from various backgrounds. From a young lady running for city alderman, teachers, neighbors, to a block club president were in attendance by the dozens.
The book is a must-read for minorities, women, or anyone thinking about entering the political arena. The women panelists verbalized the obstacles one faces as a Black woman involved in national politics.
Donna Brazile started the conversation by explaining how important it is to campaign on “our” side, and the “other side” of the tracks. She went on to express how “we as Black people tend to only campaign in our own neighborhoods, but what we must do to succeed is to campaign in all neighborhoods.” She noted that campaigning in all neighborhoods is a tactic Black people must employ to ensure success in future elections.
Brazile spoke about how campaigning with Jesse Jackson changed her life as a young woman. In her remarks she mentioned that without a Jesse Jackson Sr. there would never have been a President Barack Obama. While working for Jackson she quickly learned that “if you’re not at the table then you’re on the menu.” She soon discovered that in order to be a part of the political action you must be involved in the process. The key to making sure everyone is included is to make sure everyone who wants to eat is at the table. Not denying anyone a spot at the table ensures that you are utilizing your full potential as a political figure according to Brazile.
Political Training 101 covers the basic rules that all political figures should follow to ensure success while campaigning, said the panel of women. Political Training 101 consists of calling, knocking on doors, and pure grass roots organizing. Every panel member acknowledged that social media is changing the way a candidate campaigns, but that it will never change the advantage a candidate can gain by knocking on doors and directly meeting constituents. All of the women started their campaigns by becoming familiar with Political Training 101 early in their political careers.
One of the reasons the book was written was to show people “what political power really means in the age of Trump.” The co-authors feel that this midterm election could be a game changer for Democrats in November. Latinos and African American votes are very important for every election, and that demographic is registering to vote in record numbers. The four states with the largest Latino population, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada, hold 18 seats that are currently up for grabs in all of the states’ midterm elections. Ninety-four percent of the Democratic party consists of Black women and if all of the African American and Latinos show up during the midterms then this would definitely be a game changer for Democrats trying to pick up House and Senate seats.
Brazile learned from Coretta Scott King that the civil rights movement has to move out of the old way and into the progressive way of the future that involves young people, gays, and transsexuals. The advice that she learned from different mentors over the years was passed on to Barack Obama and she defended his issues and policies from day one. When speaking about Obama’s presidency Brazile made sure to state, “I was proud.” Now she says that she’s “ready for a woman president.”
At that moment the crowd exploded into loud applause, demonstrating that she wasn’t the only one with that feeling.