On July 15th, The African American Policy Forum hosted our fourteenth episode of our hit series “Under the Blacklight.” This episode, titled “Politics, Power & The Struggle Against Black Precarity,” examines the contours of activism and politics, with an understanding that the way things have worked is not the way things should work. The work of rethinking and reconstructing is challenging enough in a government that was not built to include all of us, but trying to do so in a body that is seen as unfit to exercise power, we’re talking doing a triple axel and triple toe-loop in the halls of power.
AAPF Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw is joined by
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, an advocate, policy-maker, activism and survivor elected to represent Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first woman of color to be elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Kimberly M. Foxx, the first African American woman to lead the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – the second largest prosecutor’s office in the country. State Attorney Foxx brings forward a vision for transforming the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office into a fairer, more forward-thinking agency focused on rebuilding the public trust, promoting transparency, and being proactive in making all communities safe.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, elected in 1998 to serve California’s 9th congressional district (now the 13th) in a special election. Congresswoman Lee is the only African American woman in Democratic Leadership, serving as Co-Chair of the Policy and Steering Committee. Currently, Congresswoman Lee serves on the Budget Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee, which oversees all federal government spending. She serves on three subcommittees (Vice Chair, State and Foreign Operations; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education; and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration) of the Appropriations Committee.
As we enter into the fourth month of COVID quarantine and our second month of protests against police violence and anti-Black racism, this skilled panel crafts a political vision for the future. This episode is grounded in discussion around the difficulties each panelist has faced in implementing a progressive agenda, the debate over the role of electoral politics in this transformative moment, and how activists and elected officials can work together to imagine and create a more equitable society. We dive deep, making space for the difficult but necessary conversation about race, racism, and how Black women are central to the political future of our nation.
Together, they address not only about the twin pandemics we are facing, but how as elected representatives, they are rising to the moment. We examine not only what they do, but how they do what they do, and what some of the unknown and unappreciated costs are of fighting the good fight. Our guests pull back the curtain on how we can become better partners, constituents, and torchbearers for those who answer the call to join the struggle.
You can read more about each panelist on our website, and we invite you to listen to our fourteenth installment of “Under The Blacklight” as a podcast, or watch a replay of the event on YouTube (here).