#BlackWomenVote Influencer: Anthea Butler
As a voting bloc, the most consistent and loyal voters are African American female voters to the Democratic party. The power of African American women in this 2016 election cycle cannot be underestimated, and it shows in the myriad ways that Hillary Clinton has courted Black women’s votes. Clinton’s almost weekly visits to Black churches, her embrace and care for the mothers of the movement (Black Lives Matter) and even appearing in an ad with Mary J. Blige are important markers of her commitment. With the election looming, it is imperative that black women get out and vote, but that vote comes with another kind of responsibility: holding Hillary Clinton to account to prioritize making all lives better, but to foreground issues that are important to her largest constituency: Black Women. As a group, African American women must hold Hillary accountable to the things that matter to us : mass incarceration, equal pay for equal work, foregrounding programs for black women’s mental and physical health. Black women are dying during pregnancy and childbirth at a higher rate than other groups in America. There are so many issues that involve us, that it is not enough to simply give our votes without expecting anything in return. If we prosper, our children, partners, and men prosper. The election may be over in two weeks, and that is where the real work begins- keeping the new President accountable to our needs, and not allowing our votes and support to be taken for granted.
Associate Professor Religion and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania