“Well into the 21st century, the citizens of Maryland recognize not only the significant contributions women have made to our state and country but also have begun to recognize the importance of having women in our top leadership positions. The number of women who are part of the 2022 gubernatorial process shows the importance of women as voters and the need to have their voices in the political process at the highest level. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s also celebrate the relevance of our wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers and their right to have a seat at all tables on all levels with the ability to make a difference.” – Michael Haynie, BlackUSA.News
By Doni Glover, Publisher
I Am Black Wall Street
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(BALTIMORE – REVISED – March 14, 2022) – Having a daughter some 21 years ago, I’ve long sought a better world for her and all women. I thank God for her and the insight I’ve been afforded during her journey. She’s shown me a side of life I may have never otherwise come to know and better appreciate.
As a Black man in America, I am well aware of racism. Sexism, however, is something most of us men struggle to understand. Truth be told, we have no idea of how difficult it is to be a woman, oft’ times a mother – let alone a professional in an unfair world where men make so many of the rules.
Women should never be underestimated – wherever that culture might be in the world. I am a firm believer that as much as men think we run things, it is the women who truly make the world go around. One would be wise to take heed.
Be that as it may, Stacey Abrams showed the world in the last presidential election that the efforts of women like Fannie Lou Hamer and Shirley Chisolm several decades prior were not in vain. Abrams helped lead a Joe Biden victory in the red state of Georgia. Kamala Harris, the first Black female Vice President of the United States, was an immediate byproduct of the efforts of Abrams and others nationally, and is a fine example of the re-emergence of the Black woman in American politics.
Michelle Obama has to be noted in this conversation. One could argue that the former First Lady shattered the glass ceiling in so many ways with no shortage of class and style. With the power and energy of strong, Black women like Abrams and Harris, more Black people get access. Access to what? Everything we’ve ever been denied!
At least, that’s how it is supposed to work: God blesses you to be in a position of power and authority so that you can be a blessing to others, especially those who are from where you’re from. I think that’s where a lot of us miss the train. We get in position and then forget that we are to hold the door open for others. I think too often we forget the assignment and get caught up in the VIP section. You know?
However it works, the stars have aligned in sync with the Black woman and all women, and she is making stronger, more gallant strides in every discipline imaginable, including politics – and that includes here in the great State of Maryland.
For the first time in history, several women are running at one time for lieutenant governor on the Democratic side, and most of them are melanated. Even on the Republican side, a woman is leading the race. Her name is Kelly Schulz. It should be noted that it was the Republican Party in Maryland that delivered the first and the third Black lieutenant governor: first, Michael S. Steele in 2002, and then, Boyd K. Rutherford in 2014.
Frankly, it is time to hear from strong candidates who are women. Their perspective is unique and important, and too often muted or muffled in the conversation. Quite honestly, I’m excited about the possibilities because white men have had most of the say for a long time, and it’s time the government looks more like the people. And it’s long been time for the laws to better serve all people, not the few.
The new House Speaker Adrienne Jones is demonstrating every single day in Annapolis that women can do the job as well as any man. Jones is proof positive that women have the capacity and the audacity to handle politics. She is also evidence that one doesn’t have to be a white male to attain a leadership position in Maryland. Granted, Jones stands on the shoulders of former State Senator Joan Carter Conway, retiring State Senator Delores Kelley, and former State Senator Shirley Nathan Pulliam. Jones is a part of a continuum of strong women leaders that is only getting stronger.
This 2022 election clearly demonstrates the Maryland woman’s political prowess. And ‘sistas’ are in the thick of it! Five gubernatorial candidates, if I’m not mistaken, have chosen Black women as running mates. First, it was Black male lieutenant governors; now, it’s Black and brown women lieutenant governors.
Montgomery County’s Tom Perez chose a Black woman running mate. Her name is Shannon Sneed, the former Baltimore City Councilwoman. Peter Franchot, also from Montgomery County, chose a Black woman as well: Monique Anderson-Walker. With degrees from Howard, Emory, and Johns Hopkins, she currently serves on the Prince George’s County Council. Further, she is married to Maryland State Delegate Jay Walker. Doug Gansler, another one representing Montgomery County, has selected a Black woman running mate. She is former Hyattsville Mayor Candace Bacchus Hollingsworth. She was the youngest and first Black mayor of Hyattsville in history. Ashwani Jain is also of Rockville and he, too, chose a Black woman running mate in LaTrece Hawkins Lytes. Lytes is a wife, mother of four, and an activist. And there is John King. I should note that King, Jain, and Perez all held posts in the Obama administration. King, who lives in Silver Spring in Montgomery County, selected Michelle Daugherty Siri. According to Maryland Matters, Siri, Executive Director of The Women’s Law Center of Maryland, is “a first-generation Iranian American and does not identify as being a person of color.”
Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, a Black man, chose Nancy Navarro of the Montgomery County Council as his running mate. Navarro is a Venezuelan-American and became the first Latina county council member in Montgomery County, Maryland in 2009. Navarro represents District 4, the largest and most diverse district in the county.
And Wes Moore, the former CEO of Robin Hood, chose former Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller as his running mate. Miller was born in Hyderabad, India.
I am personally looking forward to meeting all of these candidates for lieutenant governor and hearing their perspectives on how to move the state forward. And so are others.
“The women of Maryland have been analyzing the States Report Card for some time now, and find that we are still behind in areas that affect us most,” said Meshelle Howard, a Maryland veteran. She added, “A call to lead has come and we are ready to do so to make the necessary changes and support each other in the process.”
Martin Mitchell, a Laurel Councilman who hosts a show on our sister website, BlackUSA.News, said, “The Future is Female!” He continued, “Every year, more women run and I love to see these elected seats become more gender-balanced. I’m happy with the trend.”
According to Kenny Brown, publisher of the Northwest Voice Newspaper, “Since the beginning of time, women have been running households and government is no more than a house for the people.” Brown, whose newspaper covers northwest Baltimore County from Catonsville to Pikesville. So why shouldn’t we have more women in POLITICS? Women tend to care about people, young and old, by nature. And as candidates, they will be more people-centered. Women aren’t typically the warriors of the world – going out there and picking fights.
I totally agree with Kenny. A woman is more respectful of life by nature when compared to men.
Merrick Moise, a Maryland politico said, “The presence of women of color in this race for Lt. Governor is a wonderful, yet a long overdue, development.”
Moise continued, “It is ironic that the state that produced the baddest, boldest, and bravest Black woman in American history, Mother Harriet Tubman, is now moving into a space where women of color are taking their rightful place in government leadership. These candidates bring with them a wealth of knowledge of government, as well as the precious, yet daunting, experience of being women of color in America.”
TV and radio host Marc Clarke said, “It’s about time that the composition of our elected officials more closely reflects the power and influence of women in our homes and communities.” He added, “So, I’m excited about this!”
According to William Honablew, host of the BlackUSA.News Morning Show, stated, “Black Women have been the glue that held most of the political movements together for the last century and a half.” He added, “They were forced to lead from the shadows during women’s suffrage, civil rights, and LGBTQ equality. It is past time that women have a leading voice in policy and politics. Because no matter who creates the policy, we all look to Black women when it needs to be fixed.”
Tasemere Gathers, host of Blackout LIVE from New York on the BlackUSA.News Network stated, “It’s important that women continue to break the glass ceiling, especially in politics.” She added, “As women, we need to amplify our voice and continue to reform policies to be more inclusive and better shape the future of women to come.”