Newswire: Civil Rights icon Vernon Jordan dies at 85

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Vernon Jordan


Vernon Jordan, the former National Urban League president and civil rights leader, has died at 85. Vickee Jordan Adams, the icon’s daughter, confirmed his death on Tuesday.
“My father passed away last night at around 10 p.m. surrounded by loved ones, his wife and daughter, by his side,” Adams noted in a statement.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson said the world lost an influential figure in the fight for civil rights and American politics. “An icon to the world and a lifelong friend to the NAACP, his contribution to moving our society toward justice is unparalleled,” Johnson declared.
“In 2001, Jordan received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for a lifetime of social justice activism. His exemplary life will shine as a guiding light for all that seek truth and justice for all people.”
Added Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.): “For decades, Mr. Jordan fought for the advancement of civil rights in this country. His contributions – first challenging segregation and discrimination as an activist in the 1960s and later continuing the fight in the leadership of the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund and then as President of the National Urban League – benefited us all.”
The congresswoman continued: As Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, I had the absolute humbled honor of meeting with Mr. Jordan multiple times to discuss the challenges of our time, but also our hope and optimism for the future. While Mr. Jordan is no longer with us, we continue this fight surrounded by thousands inspired by his work and his leadership. My thoughts are with the family of Mr. Jordan and the many friends that join me in mourning his loss.”
A lawyer and Washington power broker, Jordan was born in Atlanta on August 15, 1935.
He attended the DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he was the only African American student in his class. According to his biography posted by The HistoryMakers, Jordan participated in the student senate at DePauw and won statewide honors in speaking competitions. He played basketball and graduated in 1957.
In 1960, he earned a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.
Jordan returned to Atlanta, starting his legal career working with the civil rights movement.
“In 1961, he helped organize the integration of the University of Georgia and personally escorted student Charlayne Hunter through a hostile White crowd,” The HistoryMakers noted.
“Over the next ten years, Jordan held various positions as a civil rights advocate. He served as the Georgia field secretary for the NAACP, director of the Voter Education Project for the Southern Regional Council, head of the United Negro College Fund, and as a delegate to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House Conference on Civil Rights.”
In 1971, Jordan was appointed president and CEO of the National Urban League, spearheading the organization’s growth.
On May 29, 1980, a White supremacist attempted to kill Jordan.After a successful recovery, in 1981, Jordan resigned from the National Urban League to work as legal counsel with the Washington, D.C. office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld. His active practice included corporate, legislative, and international clients.
Jordan’s close friend is former President Bill Clinton, and during Clinton’s presidency, Jordan became one of Washington’s most influential power brokers, the researchers noted.
He also was a partner in the investment firm of Lazard Frere & Company in New York.
In 2001, Jordan published his autobiography, “Vernon Can Read!,” and authored a weekly newspaper column syndicated to more than 300 newspapers and served as a frequent television guest and commentator.
“Mourning the passage of my friend, the extraordinary Vernon Jordan,” Stacey Abrams posted on Twitter. “He battled the demons of voter suppression and racial degradation, winning more than he lost. He brought others with him. And left a map so more could find their way. Love to his family. Travel on with God’s grace.”

Newswire: Stacey Abrams, Black Lives Matter are nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Stacey Abrams


Both Stacey Abrams and the Black Lives Matter movement have been nominated to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
The nominations represent an opportunity for either Abrams or Black Lives matter to win over even more support around the globe should they win. The Nobel Prizes have been given out since 1901 and were started by Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. Prizes are given out for distinguished work in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature.
There have been many controversies around the Peace Prize and a win by Abrams or the Black Lives Matter would likely extend the line of controversies. Past winners have included Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964), Nelson Mandela (1993), President Barack Obama (2009), Kofi Annan (2001) and Jimmy Carter (2002).
“Stacey Abrams political activist, voter registration & voting rights advocate has set a national standard for democracy. Her political activism has resulted in a nomination for a Nobel Prize. She deserves it & would become an even bigger voting rights, VR & democracy champion,” wrote the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. on twitter.
The news of the Abrams nomination arrived on the same day that Georgia Republicans launched a “Stop Stacey” group. The group was created to support current Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in his expected re-match against Democrat Stacey Abrams. The race will be in 2022.
The defeat of former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler to Rev. Raphael Warnock demonstrated the strength of the Black vote in Georgia. even before Abrams announced whether she’ll run again, a sign of deep concern among Republicans about the threat she poses next year to the first-term governor.
Abrams’ efforts were so noticeable and the turnaround from red to blue in Georgia so pronounced that Donald Trump brought her up during his effort to flip the election results in 2020 his favor in Georgia.
The recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in October

Newswire: Everyone is counting on Black women again to go the distance in Georgia’s Senate Runoff Race

Stacey Abrams campaigning

By: Charise Frazier, Newsone

Black women have done it before and are being asked to do it again in the state of Georgia.
The ask? To help deliver votes ensuring progressive leaders win in a highly contentious Senate runoff race. On Jan. 5, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, will face off, as will GOP Sen. David Perdue and his Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.
The highly watched race will determine the future of the Senate and Joe Biden administration’s ability to deliver on its vow to restore the “soul of the nation,” one of the president-elect’s rallying calls during his presidential run.
“The senate race in Georgia is the difference between Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes in the senate or Mitch McConnell continuing to hold the country hostage,” Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, told NewsOne during a phone conversation Monday.
For Black Americans, that would mean a concerted effort to reform a multitude of systems that have disproportionately hindered their advancements economically, in education as well as in health, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Two weeks ago, white mainstream media finally began to recognize the work and achievements of Black women organizers in Georgia like Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight, Nse Ufot, leader of The New Georgia Project and LaTosha Brown, founder of Black Voters Matter. The brainpower and organized efforts among them as well as scores of unnamed on-the-ground workers helped register thousands of Black voters, contributing to a total of 1.2 million Black voters casting ballots in the Nov. 3 election. According to exit polls, 92 percent of Black women in Georgia voted for Biden.
Due to COVID-19, organizers will again rely on unconventional mobilizing efforts to build on the momentum of the last election cycle, organizing text banks, virtual events and even going door-to-door in the pandemic.
“Amazing Black women organizers are risking their lives to save our communities in a global pandemic that has killed one in one thousand Black people in America. From the pandemic or politics, Black women have consistently been on the right side and the rest of us need to follow,” Mitchell added.
Glynda Carr, the president of Higher Heights for America, the only national organization dedicated to harnessing Black women’s political power, said she had no reason to doubt history would not repeat itself.
“The creativity of Black women organizers was on full display this cycle and created a lot of innovative ways to do contact lists, voter mobilization as well as being able to gather voters virtually and I certainly anticipate that that innovation will continue to grow and stretch,” Carr told NewsOne. “They’re not only inspired by the moments of electing Warnock and Ossoff but they also have been inspired by the leadership of these activists.
But, Black women can’t continue to function as the sail on a weathered ship.  As the most reliable voting bloc, Black women invested in this election with the promise that their votes would finally warrant a return and produce action towards legislation eradicating blocked accessways to wellness without the threat of patriarchy and misogynoir, bridled under the umbrella of white supremacy.
“Democracy is a participatory activity and should not fall on one particular constituency to overperform,” Carr continued. “And I certainly believe that Black women will not only prepare to be an informed voter going into the January 5 runoff, they will also organize their networks. But I also think we’re going to be calling on our neighbors to participate in this runoff and you’re going to hear Black women going ‘Hey neighbor!’”
But Carr cautioned walk cannot be had alone.
“I certainly think that here’s another opportunity coming out of the general election where there’s obviously discussions around the participation of white women, the participation of Latinx and the participation of Black men,” Carr said. “This is definitely sparking a conversation around shared values and how we can show up for one another. I’ve seen those conversations happening and I certainly think in Georgia people will continue to create virtual spaces for those to continue as they go to not only elect the one but two senators, which is unique in itself.”

Newswire: Biden says he won’t commit to picking a woman of color for VP running mate

By Bruce C.T. Wright, Newsone

Black voters for Biden


In a move that is sure to stun some of his most ardent supporters, Joe Biden said on Monday that he would not commit to choosing a woman of color to be his vice-presidential running mate. The moment of candor ran contrary to the presumptive narrative that Biden was intent on selecting a Black woman to be his running mate.
Biden’s interview with Pittsburgh’s KDKA commanded attention when he said he would readily have Michelle Obama as his running mate “in a heartbeat.” But it was his comments later in the interview that may have raised the antennae of some of the Black voters who pushed Biden to victory in the early primaries. Biden said he would stay true to his vow to pick a woman candidate, but that’s it.
“I’ll commit to that be a woman because it is very important that my administration look like the public, look like the nation,” Biden told KDKA. “And there will be, committed that there will be a woman of color on the Supreme Court, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a vice president, as well.”
Those seemed to be his most explicit comments about his future running mate to date, but it was unclear how that strategy might affect his campaign that was already nearly $187 million behind Donald Trump in terms of fundraising. A poll last week found that Biden running with a Black candidate could boost his chances of winning the 2020 election.
Stacey Abrams and Kamala Harris have been the two Black women at the center of Biden’s running mate rumors for months now, but his comments on Monday put those chances into doubt. If Biden did choose a woman who is not Black to be his running mate, that could affect how Black women voters — the backbone of the Democratic Party — will react. In fact, that may be true for Black voters as a whole, who could take the selection of Amy Klobuchar (or any non-Black person) as a slap in the face since Black folks have been largely credited with propelling Biden’s candidacy after Sanders jumped out to an early lead following the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in two very white states.
The GRIO put it more plainly last week with its headline: “If Biden doesn’t pick Stacey Abrams, he can kiss Black folks goodbye.”
Biden has even gone so far as to boast on the debate stage, at rallies and, really, anywhere else, that he has the undying support of Black voters.
No, this isn’t a quid pro quo with Black voters expecting a Black woman running mate to be blindly selected in exchange for their support. On the contrary, the calls for a Black woman vice-presidential candidate are consistent with those from well before there were any 2020 Democratic candidates when the narrative was that the Party’s presidential ticket should include some semblance of diversity. While Klobuchar being a woman would technically fulfill that demand, the unspoken expectation has been that if the nominee was not a Black person, then the running mate should be.
The logic behind choosing a Black woman/person as a running mate stems from the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton failed to turn out Black voters. In particular, 4.4 million voters decided against voting at all, including one-third of them who were Black, according to the Washington Post. If the Democratic nominee chooses a Black running mate, that should in theory spur more of those voters who sat out the last election to participate this time around with most of them, in all likelihood, casting ballots against Trump.
Of course, that’s the end game for Democrats — to vote out Trump — so it’s doubtful that Black voters would rather see the incumbent win instead of electing a new president and his running mate, regardless of who or what color those people are. But in 2020, with the stakes so high and the world witnessing an American president who has no idea how to stop the coronavirus, would Biden really take that chance? Only time will tell.

55th Bridge Crossing Jubilee to be held in Selma February 27 to March 1, 2020

Stacey Abrams, Georgia Voting Rights activist, Martin Luther King III and family, Nobel Prize laureate, Leymah Gobwee of Liberia among honorees at Sunday’s Unity Breakfast


The 55th Bridge Crossing Jubilee, to commemorate the 1965 ‘Bloody Sunday March’ for voting rights will be held in Selma from Thursday, February 27 to Sunday March 1, 2020.
This is the largest national event to celebrate voting and civil rights.
The Jubilee will consist of church services, workshops on civil rights related issues, a street festival, breakfasts, dinners, a parade, golf tournament and other events, culminating in Sunday afternoon’s re-enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights March, from Brown’s Chapel AME Church across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
A key part of the program is the Martin & Coretta King Unity Breakfast at Wallace Community College Selma on Sunday, March 1st, which begins at 7:30 a.m. and opens the commemoration of Bloody Sunday.
Several persons are slated to receive the Martin and Coretta King Unity Award at the breakfast and will speak, among them are Stacey Abrams of Georgia, Martin Luther King III, his wife Arndrea Waters King and their 11-year-old daughter Yolanda Renee King, Leymah Gobwee of Liberia and Columba Toure of Senegal.
“Stacey Abrams was the first Black woman in the nation to win major party’s nomination for governor, and she came very close to being elected the governor of Georgia, a Deep South state. Abrams is also one of the foremost leaders in the country in voter registration and voter participation and is a strong contender for Vice President in this year’s presidential election,” said Hank Sanders, co-founder of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation. 
 Foundation and President of Wallace Community College Selma, said: “Leader Abrams is one of the speakers most in demand across the nation. She always has something powerful and worthwhile to share. We look forward to hearing her strong vision for our nation on March 1st in Selma.” 
“Martin Luther King, III, his wife, Arndrea Waters King and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King have been deeply involved in Civil Rights, the Voting Rights struggle and human rights for a lifetime. The three members of the King family, all became very active and effective in the struggle for justice for all from very young ages. Martin Luther King, III, has attended almost all of the Martin & Coretta King Unity Breakfasts since the very beginning,” according to Hank Sanders.
Noble Peace Prize Recipient Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and international leader Coumba Toure of Senegal will be honored at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast in Selma on Sunday, March 1st, at Wallace Community College Selma. Leymah Gbowee will receive the inaugural International Peace and Justice Award, and Coumba Toure will receive the International Unity Award. 
Gbowee, the 2020 inaugural Peace and Justice Award recipient, was one of three women awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
Dr. James Mitchell, Chair of the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and President of Wallace Community College Selma (WCCS), said: “Leymah Gbowee organized women in her native Liberia to end Liberia’s civil war. Her fearless, remarkable and creative efforts and women-led movement transformed Liberia and gave the Liberian people a future that had been ripped from them through civil war, rape and other violence and oppression. The power of her work, vision and courage cannot be overstated.” 
Working across religious and ethnic lines in Liberia, Gbowee led thousands of Christian and Muslim women in praying and in working non-violently for peace, using Muslim and Christian prayers. They held daily nonviolent demonstrations and sit-ins in defiance of orders from the tyrannical Liberian President at that time, Charles Taylor. Their efforts succeeded in ending 14 years of war and removing Taylor from office in 2003.
Gbowee’s powerful memoir is Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, and she is also the subject of the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Gbowee’s influential work and service across Africa includes her being Founder and President of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa based in Monrovia, Liberia, which provides educational and leadership opportunities to girls, women and the youth in Liberia. She has served as the Executive Director of the Ghana-based Women Peace and Security Network Africa, which supports women’s capacity to prevent, avert, and end conflicts in West Africa and has also served as the commissioner-designate for the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 
 Coumba Toure, the 2020 International Unity Award recipient, has worked for more than two decades to promote social change in West Africa. She is Coordinator for Africans Rising for peace, justice and dignity based in Dakar, Senegal. Hank Sanders, co-founder of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation said: “Coumba Toure has dedicated her life to serving others and improving the lives of women, children and all people of all ages from West Africa to right here in Selma. Much of her work focuses on positive change in the nations of West Africa, and her service also reaches across the world to include helping young people through the Institute for Popular Education in Mali, the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement in Selma and more.” 
More information on all of the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee events and tickets are available through the website: http://www.selmajubilee.com

Newswire:. Stacey Abrams says she’d serve as Vice President

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Stacey Abrams


The overcrowded Democratic presidential field has a record six women seeking the nomination.
But one prominent individual who isn’t running for the top job has thrown her hat into the ring for vice president.
Former Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams said she would be delighted to serve under one of the 22 candidates.
“I would be honored to be considered by any nominee,” Abrams told The New York Timeson Wednesday, Aug. 14. “I’ve just come to the decision that my best value add, the strongest contribution I can give to this primary, would be to make sure our nominee is coming into an environment where there are strong voter protections in place,” Abrams told the Times.“I would not have publicly raised the possibility if it was not a legitimate thought,” Abrams said.
She said the current field, which includes former Vice President Joe Biden; Calif. Sen. Kamala Harris; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is talented.
Earlier this year when Biden entered the race, he was reportedly considering Abrams as a running mate.
YAHOO! Newsreported that Abrams dismissed those rumors, noting that at the time, Abrams was considering a run for president.Earlier this year, Booker said he believed that a woman should be on the ticket.

Another candidate, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, said he would find it “very difficult not to select a woman” as his running mate.

Newswire: Abrams blasts Trump, McConnell for ‘power grab’ after State of the Union Address

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Stacey Abrams


Stacey Abrams may not be the governor of Georgia, but she did make history on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
After patiently waiting in the wings as President Donald Trump used 90 minutes to deliver what was supposed to be a 45-minute State of the Union Address, Abrams provided a scathing Democratic rebuttal to the president’s highly-scripted speech to Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
In doing so, Abrams became the first Black woman for either party to deliver a formal response to the State of the Union. Speaking firmly and with a fervor that has earned her the national stage, the former Georgia Gubernatorial candidate said the “hopes of American families are being crushed” by Republican political leadership.
“In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security,” Abrams said. “But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it.”
The response is a tradition undertaken by a representative of the president’s opposing party, who gives a speech immediately after the State of the Union to rebut claims made in his address.
According to CBS News, the first rebuttal was delivered by Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen and Rep. Gerald Ford in response to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1966 State of the Union. Since 2011, there have been responses in English and one in Spanish given by a separate speaker.
The address has usually been given by a member of Congress or a sitting governor, making Abrams an intriguing choice given she doesn’t currently hold a political office.
Only one other time has an elected official not holding statewide or federal office given their party’s response: Elizabeth Guzman, a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, delivered the Spanish-language response for Democrats in 2018, CBS reported. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra gave the Spanish address this year.
However, since losing her gubernatorial bid, Abrams has said she is open to running for political office again. Abrams talked about family values – taught by her parents. In one instance on a cold winter night, her family went looking for her father and when they found him walking along a road, he was shivering and without a coat.
“He had given his coat to a homeless man,” Abrams said. “I knew he would still be alone when I left him, but I knew you were coming for me,” she said, relating her father’s words. “I hold fast to my father’s credo, we are coming for a better America,” Abrams said.
Abrams railed against Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the government shutdown. Abrams noted McConnell’s recent verbal assaults on a House Democratic voting rights and an election bill that he has labeled a Democratic “power grab.”
“Voter suppression is real … we can no longer ignore these threats to Democracy. We cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote,” Abrams said. “This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country,” she said. “We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counter is a ‘power grab.’”
She blasted Trump and McConnell noting the missed paydays and the struggles of more than 800,000 federal workers who could still face another shutdown in just a couple of weeks because Trump wants to build a $5 billion wall on the southern border.
“Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks,” Abrams said. “Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace,” she said.
Further driving home her point, Abrams continued: “The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people, but our values.”
Trump, who continues to garner headlines over a myriad of alleged misdeeds, misstatements, and the division that’s enveloped the country since he took office, called for bipartisanship in his address.
He claimed outstanding records on jobs and the economy and America’s global standing. He also again took credit for low African American and Latino unemployment, saying more people – 157 million – are working now than anytime in the past in America.
The president also talked about the 300 or so judicial nominees that are in the Senate, ignoring that President Barack Obama’s high court choices were blatantly disregarded by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Abrams, who was once the Democratic Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, dismissed those claims. Abrams also firmly rebutted the notion that the Trump administration has the best ideals for the country going forward. “We may come from different sides of the political aisle, but our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable,” she said.
“The Republican tax bill rigged the system against people. Wages struggle to keep pace with the cost of living. We owe more to the folks who keep our country moving.”
“We know bipartisanship can craft a 21stcentury immigration plan, but this administration chooses to cage people. Democrats stand ready to secure our borders, but we must understand America is made stronger by immigrants, not walls.”

Newswire :  Early voting numbers signal big turnout for Midterms as voter suppression looms

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

 Stacey Abrams, Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia campaigns for early votes

In Georgia, close to three times the number of people who voted early during the last midterm election have voted early. The numbers went up over the first week of early voting in a state featuring one of the biggest races for governor in the U.S: Democrat Stacey Abrams vs. Republican Brian Kemp. Abrams would be the first African American female governor elected in history if she wins. Over 482,000 people have voted in Georgia in advance which included 92,000 on October 19 alone. According to the New York Times, “vote totals have increased almost 200 percent at the same point since the last gubernatorial election.” Typically high turnout favors the Democratic Party. The news regarding record turnout predictions have collided with the news of voter suppression. Election officials in Kansas closed the only polling place in Dodge City. Latinos currently make up 60 percent of Dodge City’s population. Dodge City has only one polling site for 27,000 residents. In North Dakota, the Republican controlled legislature passed new laws making it harder Native Americans living on reservations to vote. The new laws require an ID with a street address when most voters on reservations have a post office box address. An October 9th Associated Press report found around 53,000 people — nearly 70% of them African-Americans — had their registrations placed in limbo because of some kind of mismatch with driver’s license or social security information. Tellingly, Abrams is running against an opponent who has had a hand in the details in making voting more difficult in the state. Greg Palast, a voter suppression expert who runs the Palast Investigative Fund, asserts that Kemp is responsible for removing over 300,000 voters from Georgia’s voter rolls over two years. Palast’s team of experts includes statisticians and lawyers analyzing changes and removals from voter rolls across America. “What’s happening #GaGovRace right now might be a defining moment in the brief history of our Democracy – it will be the 1st publicized, well understood and quantifiable rigged and stolen election in the deluge. They will point here and say this was the moment and it happened with little fanfare,” tweeted pollster Cornell Belcher about the Georgia race. A coalition of advocacy groups has launched a lawsuit to block Georgia from enforcing the “exact match” requirement that could block over 50,000 votes in the state. The Campaign Legal Center and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law argued in the suit, which was filed in a federal district court on Thursday, that the state’s “exact match” requirement violates the Voting Rights Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The question a little over two weeks from Election Day is: Will high turnout be able to erase attempts at voter suppression.

Newswire: Ben Jealous’ primary win in Maryland moved America closer to having the first Black governor in years.

Written By Bruce C.T. Wright, Newsone
 

Ben Jealous.jpg

                                                                  Ben Jealous

Ben Jealous’ Democratic primary victory in Maryland on Tuesday night meant there were now two African-American nominees for governor in the U.S. If elected, they would equal the same number of Black governors in what will soon be the nation’s 242-year history. Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee in Georgia is the second Black candidate for Governor in the

But there were still three more races to go with Black gubernatorial hopefuls, increasing the chances of both a Black governor being elected and possibly making this year one of the most noteworthy on record for African-Americans in politics. After all, there hasn’t been a Black governor in office since the fateful political year of 2016.

Tuesday’s win advanced Jealous, a former president of the NAACP, to a general election showdown with the incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. And if the past was any indication of the future, Jealous’ chances to become Maryland’s first Black governor were all but guaranteed: not one single governor in the state has been re-elected in 54 years.
Jealous joined Georgia’s Stacey Abrams as the lone two African-American nominees for governor. The duo could become a quintet if three more states vote for the Black candidates in their respective states. Abrams, the first Black woman to ever be nominated for governor, was polling lower than her general election opponent. But she pulled a come-from-behind victory last month, so why not again in November?
Florida voters could push Andrew Gillum through the Democratic primary there in August, and at least one poll has him leading the race. The first Black mayor of Tallahassee has said he’s in favor of bail reform, gun reform and full legalization of marijuana because of the racial disparity of arrests. The Sunshine State’s primary was scheduled for Aug. 28.
It was a bit of a different story in Michigan, though, as neither of the two Black gubernatorial candidates there even registered a blip on the most recent poll. Michigan’s primary was scheduled for Aug. 8.
Perhaps the longest shot of the rest of the Black candidates was Ohio’s Larry Ealy, a former exotic dancer. (Kanye shrug) Ohio goes to the primary polls on Aug. 28.
Illinois’ Tio Hardiman and Maryland’s Rushern Baker each lost their respective gubernatorial bids. Now former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the first Black person elected to that position, decided against running for a third term and left office in 2015.