Meet the black women shaking up U.S. politics

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Photo: Twitter/Ayanna Pressley

The news that Ayanna Pressley defeated one of America’s long-serving Congress members is a win not only for African-Americans but for women of colour.

Pressley won the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District, defeating Democratic Rep. Mike Capuano to become the first African-American woman in this position in the history of Massachusetts.

Pressley, who has always been seen as an underdog, was raised by Sandra Pressley, a single mother. Her father, Martin Pressley spent much of her childhood in jail. She attended Boston University for two years before dropping out to work to support her mother.

Pressley’s foray into politics started way back in 2009 when she became the first woman of colour to be elected to the city council. She actively campaigned at the grassroots level focusing on the experience of black people as well as on national-scale controversial issues such as Medicare.

Since there is no Republican representative on the ballot, she is most likely to be heading to Congress in 2019.

Pressley joins the list of black women causing an upset in American politics.

 

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