31 Oct 2016

Black women have a voice “others” have been trying to suppress for centuries. Whether we’re considered “angry” or “outspoken” it doesn’t matter, our voices will be heard. We’ll use the right to vote that our gender didn’t receive until 1920 and our skin color didn’t (really) receive until 1965. We’re influential like Michelle Obama (please run for Senate!) and in some cases loud, proud and wrong like “Rhinestone and Polyester” (they suck).

We can do everything from shape social media and bring attention to an issue like April Reign (#OscarSoWhite) or simply eye roll a nonsense talking head with a Beyonce lyric like Angela Rye (Boy, bye).

We change games and elections and we’re getting more powerful each day. Personally, I’m Black first (Obama all day) and female second (#ImwithHer …now). And if you don’t think we change elections, just ask Mama Oprah who she’s endorsing!

Joyelle Nicole Johnson
Lady Parts Justice

31 Oct 2016

One of the interesting things about this election is that I haven’t heard any of the candidates talk to Black women in terms of our strength and our power. I have heard generalizations in terms of our grief and our struggle, but not to our resilience and our ability to create. This is unfortunate, because the Black businesswoman has grown significantly over the last 8 years.

In fact, during one of the most troubling economic trends 2007-09 the amount of firms owned by women of color doubled. There are nearly 2.8 million more businesses owned by women of color since 2007. Which means when our country was in a recession, nearly 8 out of every 10 new women owned firms launched; has been started by a woman of color. Black women business owners have political influence. If I have a business, I probably vote.

I think it’s time that the power of Black women stop being ignored. I think it’s time that folks realize that #BlackWomenVote

Teri Washington
Editor-in-chief and Publisher of HARVEST Magazine

31 Oct 2016

As people who were once doubly disenfranchised from voting by being both Black and women, I think we exhibit a unique commitment to voting as citizens. We are invested in women’s equality, Black liberation, our childrens’ educations, and economic prosperity for our diverse communities. Candidates who listen to us and outline clear plans to address the issues that affect us the most will be the ones who get our votes. During this election, we will again show the country that we are citizens to be valued, not ignored.

Feminista Jones
Author & Activist

31 Oct 2016

I vote because my grandmother, Julia Sweeper, couldn’t. She was born in the 1920’s in Augusta, Georgia, where her second-class citizenship I vote because millions of Americans—the Goodmans, the Schwerners, the Cheneys—died so that I can do so freely. was on full display. I will never dishonor their works, their legacy or their lives.

I am voting in 2016 because I care deeply about the future of this nation and humanity. I vote in 2016 because “they” don’t want us to. With every move to disenfranchise—through intimidation, closing voting outlets, not having the proper equipment or forms, creating long lines and frustration—it reminds me of what is really at stake.

Paul Weyrich, founder of the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation and what is known as the conservative movement in America said, “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

So, your vote doesn’t matter? Then why have so many people been killed for wanting to vote? If your vote doesn’t matter, why have whole movements been erected to prevent you from voting? If your vote doesn’t matter, why has so much money been spent to change laws to prevent you from voting?

I vote because I matter.

Karen Hunter
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, publisher, professor, bestselling author. Host of The Karen Hunter Show

25 Oct 2016

By Jerrilyn Goodwater

Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads, “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Living in New England, we are familiar with the four different seasons; winter, spring, summer & fall. These seasons are marked by specific weather conditions, temperatures and length of the days. We have winter with the colder weather and snow, spring with the blooming flowers, summer brings our warmer weather and fall with the colorful foliage. We realize that people do different things in preparation for each season and also in response to the conditions, pressures, stresses of the season. This is also the case with the seasons in our lives.

Ecclesiastes 3:2 reads, “a time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”

In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, the scripture goes on to demonstrate there are many different seasons in one’s life. If we look back at our history, the history of African Americans, there were seasons. There were times that our ancestors did things based upon what was going on in the world and the pressures they experienced. They held marches, sit-ins, demonstrations and boycotted. Through the struggles of our ancestors, we gained ground in our struggle for equality. We gained the right to vote!

As we approach the upcoming election, I want each one to take a look at the season we are in. See what is going on around us and think about how we should best prepare. How can we prepare for a season when our Black men are being shot and killed by the same ones authorized to protect them, when our children are being shot while playing with toy guns? How do we prepare for a season when candidates running for the highest office in our country are spending more time saying derogatory things about women and other minorities than addressing the issues facing our country?

Ecclesiastes 3:7b reads, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”

I propose that we as Black women are in a season that calls on us to NOT be silent anymore. We are in a season in which we ought to make our voices be heard. I propose that we are here for such a time as this. If we are to make a difference, then it must be a season of action, calling us to speak. It must be a season calling for us to speak up and speak out. If we are to be a part of the change, then it is a season calling on us to “Lift Every Voice”. Let’s help lift every voice through the vote!

Black Women had the highest voter turnout in 2008 and 2012 over any other demographic group. The power of the sistah vote is very real and can only happen when we collectively galvanize our power and show up to the polls in force. It’s our season, our time now.

I look forward to seeing you at the polls on Nov. 8.

Jerrilyn Goodwater is the mother of two and the wife of Rev. Issac Goodwater, pastor of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Norwich, CT.