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Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms declares victory during an election-night watch party Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

More than 500 African-American women across America are running for public offices in 2018, perhaps the largest number of Black women ever to compete for elected positions in one year.

Black women – Democrats and Republicans, incumbents and neophytes  – are vying for federal, state and local seats from coast to coast.

For years, African-American women have been underrepresented in politics and this unprecedented number of black female candidates is an inspirational addition to the 2018 political scene.

A new database, Black Women In Politics, lists 507 known black female candidates running for elected positions this year.

Here are just a few examples of the 2018 movement for black female political empowerment: Stacey Adams is running for Governor of Alabama and hoping to become the first African-American female governor in the country. Mina Davis is seeking a seat in the Nebraska state legislature.

Tamekia Fain-Lovett is running for a U.S. Congressional seat in Georgia. Coral Evans is trying to become Mayor of Flagstaff, Arizona. Monica Montgomery is hoping for a seat on the San Diego, California City Council. Gail Finney is running for a state legislature seat in Kansas. Veronika Fimbres is running for governor of California.

Many of these women could make political history. They are emulating the historic leadership of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the first woman and African-American to run for president from a major political party.

Approaching the mid-term elections in November, these Black women could help shape the political landscape moving forward and help Democrats take the majority of seats in Congress.

“There are Black women running for political office all over the United States, and we need to know who they are,” according to the website. “It is abundantly clear that we need to start following the lead of Black women, because we show up and do what is important, even when we are being disenfranchised and sabotaged from doing the work. 2018 is especially important because midterm elections are coming up. We need all the information we can get.”

The website database was created by blogger Luvvie Ajayi, who said she decided to search for black female candidates after Democrat Doug Jones won his Senate seat in Alabama with 96 percent of the black female vote.

In addition to Ajayi’s website, a comprehensive report by the Higher Heights Leadership Fund, “Chisholm Effect: Black Women in America Politics 2018,” underscores the significance of black women getting involved in the political process.

“We should all be buoyed by the [Shirley] Chisholm effect, which spawned generations of Black women determined to and successful at breaking political glass ceilings,” U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) wrote in a forward to the report. “There’s an opportunity in the coming months for Black women to build on these gains by taking decisive action to increase our political representation and provide America with leadership that is powerful, connected and lasting.”

She added: “The data demonstrate that, even with the gains Black women saw at some levels of office in 2016, there is more work to do to ensure that Black women’s representation in elected office reflects their presence in American society.”

We are witnessing an extraordinary movement of black women in politics and we’ll realize the scope of their empowerment when voters head to the polls in November.

What do you think?




Black Girls Run: They Lead The Way In Elections Nationwide  was originally published on