Page 7 - The Fayetteville Press Newspaper June/July 2018 Edition
P. 7

The Fayetteville Press June/July 2018 Edition                                                                                             Page 7

                               The Excellence of Black Women

          by Dr Dion Clark
          This has been and will be a very common refrain               “Go Stacey Go!”                                                 walking, keep moving, keep fighting, keep forgiving, keep
      between now and November 6, 2018.  On that date, Geor-                                                                            loving and keep achieving.  There are often two moni-
      gia voters will have a chance to go to the polls and elect                                                                        kers you hear associated with Black women - that of the
      the first Black woman as governor of a state - any state -                                                                        Strong Black Woman and that of the Angry Black Woman.
      in the US.  Georgia, y’all!  Not New York, not California,                                                                        Sometimes the two are interchanged as people wrongly
      not Massachusetts or even North Carolina, but Georgia.                                                                            assume that - for Black Women at least - to be strong is
          The nomination alone is exciting.  She has already                                                                            to be angry.  But nothing could be further from the truth.
      made history by clinching a major party nomination.  How-                                                                              Certainly it took strength (and maybe a little well-
      ever, Stacey Yvonne Abrams is not seeking any moral vic-                                                                          placed anger) for these women to achieve these many
      tories.  She’s in it to win it.  Abrams is a Spelman Woman                                                                        milestones locally and nationally.  But there are scores of
      and a Yale Law School Alum.  In between that she stopped                                                                          strong Black women who never seek any public office
      by the University of Texas for a Master’s in Public Af-                                                                           or position, who go about their business in relative ob-
      fairs.                                                                                                                            scurity, who never make history, who encourage hus-
          Abrams served as the Minority Leader of the Geor-                                                                             bands,  raise  children,  serve  in  their  communities,
      gia State Legislature and worked closely with the Republi-                                                                        undergird the Black church, make friendships, care for
      can leadership (something not always valued in the Black                                                                          aging parents and numerous other activities that rarely -
      community) to reform higher education funding for low-                                                                            if ever - get public recognition.  Still, it takes strength.
      income students, making college more affordable and ac-                                                                                As far as anger goes, the truth is Black women
      cessible.  This was a priority for Abrams because - as she                                                                        may have some reasons to be angry.  Despite the gains
      revealed in a recent Op-Ed - she has nearly $200,000 in                                                                           made by Black women in Cumberland County, Black
      student loan debt herself.  While for many this might be                                                                          women are still often absent from most boardrooms, ex-
      crippling, Abrams has turned her experiences as a cash-                                                                           ecutive level conversations, the Trump administration,
      strapped college student into an understanding of what it                                                                         national media outlets, established senior pastorates,
      will take for this next generation of Black women and men                                                                         principalships of predominantly white schools, the edi-
      to succeed.                                                                   Stacey Abrams                                       torial page of the Fayetteville Observer and other seats
          Many of us will be watching Stacey “Go” this fall                                                                             of power that drive local, state and national decisions.
      with great interest, hope, optimism, worry and pride.  We                                                                         While many folks are making decisions that affect Black
      have something to tell our daughters, “Look at Stacey!  judges here in Fayetteville, including April Smith, Cheri Siler-Mack, Toni S. King and the new- women, there are not always Black women’s voices
      You can do it, too!”                             est of the group, Tiffany Whitfield.                                             present to speak first hand to the potential impact.
          Closer to home, First Baptist Church will recognize                                                                                Stacey Abrams is trying to change that.  Justice
      two local living legends this month - Justices Patricia  Justice Beasley succeeded Justice Timmons-Goodson by appointment, but Beasley is a Timmons-Goodson, Justice Cheri Beasley and other Black
      Timmons-Goodson and Cheri Beasley.  Justice Timmons-  standout in her own right having been the first Black woman in North Carolina to ever be women elected officials are trying to change that.  Black
      Goodson is a former justice on the North Carolina Su-  elected to any statewide office (in this case the NC Court of Appeals) without first being women in local communities are trying to change that -
      preme Court, the first Black woman to serve in this ca-  appointed by the Governor.  Without the benefit of incumbency, she defeated a sitting judge to and it’s to the benefit of all of us for this change to hap-
      pacity.  She also served as a judge in district court and the  win her seat.                                                      pen.           ~Dr. Dion
      NC Court of Appeals.                                  In fact, Cumberland County has a long history of producing and promoting Black women
          By breaking ground in the NC judicial system, Jus-  into prominent positions including on the Fayetteville City Council, Spring Lake Board of Al-  Dr. Dion Clark is the founding pastor of the
      tice Timmons-Goodson helped to pave the way for her  ders, Board of Commissioners, School Board and many high-ranking non-elected posts.  Caesarea Worship Center in Fayetteville, NC and the wife
      successor, Justice Beasley as well as other Black women  The excellence of Black women is that Black Women are resilient. Black women keep of State Senator Ben Clark.

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