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Being a Bold Black Woman

By Justice Locke


When I was younger I can remember saying boldly “I want to be the President of the United States one day” I also remember telling someone that then being told I shouldn’t because I would probably be killed. Now, I am not sure if their response was merely on the fact that I was a girl, black, or just because. Of course as a young person that discouraged me from ever thinking I could achieve a dream so high. That response to my dream was a bit harsh and soul crushing, but I am thankful for it. I am thankful because that is reality, no I am not saying that if I become president I will be assassinated, but it is a possibility that my life will be threatened or I could be harmed. Now you're probably thinking who in their right mind would want to consider being president, but I believe being bold is how you run for any political office and I have witnessed black women doing just that. Being Bold Black Women.


The political world is known as a dog eat dog world with everyone fighting to gain power or keep the power they have by making laws and decision that will please the majority who put them there. A world that is ran by the,“untouched”, white males. Just imagine it, a black woman who decides to runs for a political office. She is hit with many things like being told she won’t win because she isn’t educated enough to be in office or that she needs to wait her turn meaning a white woman and a black man has to come before her. It also looks like entering into an predominately white male environment where she will be looked down upon because of what people perceive her to be. The list could go on for days on why a black woman shouldn’t run for a political office and that is why it takes boldness to for a black woman to run for a political office. To not listen to the naysayers, but to trust the path set before her. Like I said before, I get to see black women make that bold decision to run from state/local elections to federal elections. Women such as Tami Sawyer, Londan Lamar, IIhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Stacy Abrams and so many others. On MLK day, January 21, 2019, a black woman, Kamala Harris, announced her intent to run for president. I sat watching this in awe because this woman who is Indian and Jamaican descent, but by the world standards her melanin makes her black, could possibly be president. Kamala Harris was the first black woman to be Attorney General in California. She is also the second black women to be elected as an U.S senator from California, which is the current office she holds. Senator Harris campaigns on being for the people with a record of introducing and cosponsoring legislation with issues such as tax cut, affordable housing, and immigration. Though the election is more than a year away I cannot help but reflect on how Bold she had to be to make that decision. Even taking into the consideration of the hardships she would endure because of her past as a strict district attorney and the disapproval rate as Attorney General or her marriage to a white man; she still decided to run for President. Senator Harris’ boldness is compelling but her boldness comes from the building blocks of Shirley Chisholm who, as Senator Harris would say, paved the way for her. Senator Harris goes as far as giving honor to Shirley Chisholm by introducing a bill for a statue of Shirley Chisholm to be placed at U.S. state capitol. According to Los Angeles Sentinel Senator Harris said,


“For the first time in history, there are more than 20 Black women serving in the United State Congress—and we all stand on the shoulders of Shirley Chisholm,” said Senator Harris. “Shirley’s legacy inspires us to continue our fight to give a voice to the voiceless and pursue justice and equality for every American. Her legacy deserves to stand tall in the United States Capitol.”


As you can see, Shirley Chisholm, who announced her bid for the presidential office almost 50 years ago, has left a legacy of boldness that has changed history forever. Shirley Chisholm is the first black person to run for the presidential office and the first black women to be elected into congress. Congresswoman Chisholm left a legacy with her advocacy for education and racial and gender equity. Chisholm introduced a little over 60 legislation pieces while also being the co- founder of the National Women Political Caucus and being a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Chisholm’s efforts to fight against injustice lead her to the set her eyes on the presidential office with a motto of “unbossed and unbought”. She faced many hardships from both sides of the political parties for her decision to run for the presidential office and although she fell short of victory I admire her for her boldness to go against the grain of the norm.


Senator Harris and Congresswoman Chisholm are just two examples of black women being bold and they are women I look up to and examples I could follow after if I ever decide to run for any political office. But, I cannot stand on those examples alone because it is not only what I see in them but it is also what I am commanded to do by God to be bold.


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:9


To give some context of the scripture, Joshua is being commissioned by God to be a servant of God. God is commissioning Joshua to go and take the land that was promised to the men before him and God wants Joshua to lead the people to the land. God commands him to be strong and courageous and not to be frightened because the Lord is with him. How sweet is it that God called Joshua to be used by him and not only is God giving him this opportunity but God also says I will be with you so be bold and do not be afraid.


As a Christian, the aspect of my boldness comes from the Lord. Having a firm foundation in what the Lord has commanded of me to Be strong and courageous. This means the boldness is what I wear on a daily basis even if I ran for a political office. As a black woman, the world is going to tell me all the reasons why I shouldn’t run for office, but God tells me not to fear because He is with me. To be Bold in God also means to see things through the lens of the gospel by understanding my calling of making disciples of all nations, by loving God and my neighbor as myself, and by being unashamed of who God has called me to be. If I ever decide to do anything that calls me to be a leader I am reminded of this verse and knowing that my Heavenly father is with me wherever I go. Just as Senator Kamala Harris and Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm announced their intent for the presidential office, now I can boldly say “I want to be President of the United States one day” and I can care less what people have to say or think about it because my Heavenly father is with me and has called me to be strong and courageous.


If you are someone whose dreams have been crushed or you fear it being too big of a dream to achieve, trust in who God has said you are and what he has commanded you to do which is to Be Strong and Courageous.

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