Black Women Save Politics

Donna Brazile, left, Minyon Moore, Yolanda Caraway and Rev. Leah Daughtry are the women who considered and chose politics. (Courtesy Photo)
Donna Brazile, left, Minyon Moore, Yolanda Caraway and Rev. Leah Daughtry are the women who considered and chose politics. (Courtesy Photo)

By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor

Politics aren’t for the faint of heart-and, according to the new book, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics,” it’s taken some of the strongest people around to keep politicians and parties in tact- Black women.

Described as the “four most powerful African-American women in politics,” Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry and Minyon Moore wrote “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics” and on Oct. 27 three of the authors were featured on the Armstrong Williams Show.

Brazile, Daughtry and Moore spoke to Williams candidly for an hour about their career in politics and the work, stories and successes that led them to writing the book.

“The purpose was to share our lessons being eye witnesses to history,” Brazile, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, told Williams.

The book’s tile is a reference to the play, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf”, by Ntozake Shange, who died the same day of the authors’ appearance on Williams’ show.  In Shange’s play, women of color share their trials and tribulations that led to depression, trauma and more, yet in the end there is a sense of triumph in being content with all of the nuances that make them who they are.

According to the political “colored girls,” even with personal and national trials and tribulations, they have remained major assets to politicians and politics.

Moore, who served as the director of the White House Office of Public Liaison under the Clinton administration, said the key to her success in politics was an understanding of business.

“I had the value of understanding business all my life and I also understand politics and I understood very early on that it’s a business, it’s not just about politics,” Moore said.

The women shared behind the scenes stories that have come from working in politics, such as the first time they organized a state funeral- when Rosa Parks died in 2005.

Brazile giggled as she talked about how President and Mrs. Bush gave White House flowers for the funeral, and neither she nor the team knew the arrangement wasn’t supposed to stay with the casket.

“Well that belonged to the White House and we had to figure out ‘How do we get it back?’ That was the first time we ever buried somebody,” Brazile said.  “But now we’ve become very good at it.”

Daughtry, the CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Convention Committees, shared some of the moments that came from organizing Dorothy Height’s memorials in 2010.

The whole House senior leadership came to NCNW [National Council of Negro Women] where she laid in repose.  You saw the House and Senate Democrat and Republican leadership come to pay their respect to Dr. Height in a building that she chaired for so many years,” Daughtry said. “It was just marvelous.”

Moore told several stories about the Clintons.  She explained that Clinton was one of the first presidents who insisted on a diverse cabinet.

“He was one of the ones that said very early on, ‘I want an administration that looks like America.  I want to have strong African Americans. I want to have strong Hispanics. I want to have strong women in my cabinet,’” Moore said.

She also talked about election night 2016 when the Clintons waited for returns and the former president called her for clarification about Michigan votes.

“If you know anything about President Clinton he’s insatiable when it comes to data, he’s insatiable when it comes to numbers,” Moore said. “He knew the trend of the state,” she said and numbers weren’t adding up for the supportive husband.  She revealed that President Clinton’s concerns ended up making sense once learning what voters were doing.

“We were seeing that people were going to the polls and they weren’t voting for president.  They were voting down ballot [not voting president and vice president]… 76,000 people did that in Michigan and we didn’t find that out until later.”

Through all the lessons from careers in politics, the women explained that the true purpose behind the work is beyond partisan ideals.

“Without the labels, without the political parties we can begin to heal.  As long as we go by, whatever name, by whatever ideology, we take away from humanity of folk,” Daughtry said.

“I hope this will show people in America, it is about country, it is about bringing our country together and this book shows that,” Moore said.

This article originally appeared in The Afro

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