WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF POLITICS

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For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, by Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, Minyon Moore, with Veronica Chambers (St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY, 2018, 316 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

somebody/anybody sing a black girl’s song, bring her out to know herself, to know you, but sing her rhythms … sing her sighs, sing the song of her possibilities, sing a righteous gospel, the makin of a melody, let her be born, let her be born & handled warmly.

-NTOZAKE SHANGE

May 8, 2019 (San Diego) - Ironically, in my earlier review of Donna Brazile’s book Hacks in the East County Magazine in San Diego, she makes the profound statement; “I am not Patsey the Slave.” This was in reference to her involvement in the Clinton campaign and her being chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and despite that fact, Brazile being marginalized by Clinton’s brain trust in New York, with Brazile specifically stating: “Y’all keep whipping me and you never give me any money or any way to do my damn job. I am not going to be your whipping girl!”

This book is rich in history and politics, which includes the personal insight from four fabulous and acclaimed black women!

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, is actually a take on noted activist and author Ntozake Shange’s iconic and revolutionary book; For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, involving four powerful black women that have been in the forefront of politics.

It should be noted that Shange admitted publicly to having attempted suicide on four different occasions. That should put into perspective the Colored Girls’ story, and why their insistence or identifying with Shange and her above quote.

Donna Brazile, a veteran Democratic political strategist, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, author, television political commentator, and former interim chair of the Democratic Party. She is the author of Cooking with Grease and the New York Times bestseller Hacks.

Yolanda Caraway is the founder of the Caraway Group, Inc., a nationally recognized public relations and public affairs agency. She has played a major role in shaping the goals and objectives of the national Democratic Party.

The Reverend Leah Daughtry is a nationally recognized preacher, speaker, organizer, leader, strategist, and CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.

Minyon Moore is a partner at the Dewey Square Group, was formerly CEO of the Democratic National Committee, and served as assistant to the president of the United States, director of the White House Office of Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton.

These four acclaimed women have written this book to indicate how far we have come as a people, and how much farther we have to go in order to achieve a modicum of freedom that we all aspire for. Throughout the telling of their story they call on and identify other black women that have been activists and political warriors, such as Nina Simone and the Rev. Willie Barrow of Operation Push in Chicago.

It was not always a movement of togetherness for these women, as there were times and instances when it seemed that their personal political preferences would drive a wedge between them, as demonstrated in this poignant and revealing passage in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics; “The 2008 election tried our friendship like no other. Those of us who were with Hillary (Minyon, Tina, and Yolanda) had to take Donna off our emails. We go ‘book, chapter, and verse’ on email – going back and forth in messages that would zip as fast as a teenager’s texts and could number a hundred messages in just a few hours. Donna missed the lifeline of friendships that the emails represented. She remembers that she ‘felt the chilliness. I felt the cold shoulder.’ So many people were telling us, ‘You’re black; you’ve got to be for Obama.’ And then others, mostly white women, were saying, ‘You’re a woman; you’ve got to be for Hillary.’ Donna remembers telling one person, ‘Yes, I’m black; yes, I’m a woman, but I’m getting old and grumpy, and I’m going to support John McCain if y’all don’t stop.’ ‘It was ugly,’ Minyon says.”

The aforementioned has me wondering, and possibly others, that if Donna Brazile was not for Hillary Clinton in 2008, how is it she was with Hillary later when Clinton was running for President the 2nd time? It also goes back to those in Clinton’s campaign evoking from Brazile the statement: “I am not Patsey the slave” and “Y’all keep whipping me and you never give me any money or any way to do my damn job. I am not going to be your whipping girl!” This is insightful, yet complexing! It makes one wonder, are the Colored Girls conflicted over race and politics?

It should be noted that an Angela de Joseph, writing for the East County Magazine, wrote an article titled "Women of Color roared at She the People 2020 Presidential Forum" on April 24, 2019 at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas. Ironically, Leah Daughtry hosted a group of women at this event, as pictured here. The majority of the Democratic contenders for president spoke at this event, namely Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker and others.

Perhaps the most poignant passage in this revealing and well documented book is the chapter titled “Alabama Godd*m”, which specifically states: “In 1964, Nina Simone sat down to write what she called her ‘first civil rights song,’ in response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four little black girls on a Sunday morning in Birmingham, Alabama. Simone said she wrote ‘Mississippi Goddam’ in less than an hour.” Click to listen to this prophetic song here.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics is a revealing and well written book that captures the essence of the current political movement, but from a black female perspective, a book that I highly recommend.

Dennis Moore is a writer and book reviewer for the East County Magazine in San Diego and has been the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine. He is also the author of a book about Chicago politics. Mr. Moore can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him onTwitter at: @DennisMoore8.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Women are leaders in politics and so much more

Women are and always have been leaders without ever going into politics. We continue to lead from the cradle to the grave. And when it comes to politics, it's no wonder that there are black women of courage and tenacity willing to take on the establishment. We're all different and with our own individual gifts, talents and personal convictions, so I applaud any woman who boldly stands up for what she believes, without compromising. Kudos to these trailblazing and window-breaking women who were not afraid to go after what they believe. As always, an insightful review, Dennis. Dorothy Bracy Alston; author, educator, minister and consultant

Pure politics

Ol mother McGee trashed her own article when she "loved O'bama and NO Trump". When it comes to respect Dennis, you earn it by credible and fair reporting.

Shades of politics

I am weary of Unions, caucus groups and ethnic drummers. Someday perhaps individuals will stand up and feel comfortable "by themselves" and not have to lean on crutches to make an outdated and obsolete point.

Colored Girls and Politics

I enjoyed reading your review on Colored Girls and Politics. Four Sisters who are a prime example of so many. You shared Nina Simones recording Mississippi Godamn, which made the review much more embracing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts of such powerful women. Mobile Notary Carmen W.

Minyon Moore and Anita Baker

Minyon Moore is referenced in subject book as having an affinity for the singer Anita Baker's hairstyle, and they would later meet and become friends. Attached is a song(s) by Anita Baker that you can listen to by clicking here.

For Colored Girls who have Considered Politics

I read this review with interest. Having very strong convictions on what I believe to be right and wrong, I often voice my opinion, even when it is not welcomed. First, let me say that I do not believe anyone should vote for, support, or back a candidate because he/she is of the same sex, color, sexual orientation, or religion as you. I also believe that a candidate should only win because he/she is qualified, and has earned the respect of voters through merit. That being said, I feel there is too much emphasis placed on the color of a person's skin, both by white people and black people. By seeing the skin color, many people miss the substance of a person. Look at Obama. He could be purple for all I care. I love him for his goodness, his kindness, his fairness, and his intelligence. He deserved the presidency. Trump? No. But women who want to get into politics should do so, and not use their sex or their race as a crutch. I worked with an amazing woman who happened to be a black woman. She was very dark, which some say should have held her back. But you know what? Our boss kept promoting her to higher positions. She deserved each promotion. When another black woman asked her what she attributed her success to, she said, "When I go after a job, I forget that I am black, and that I am a woman. I focus on the prize." And I believe it should be the same for those women, white, black, or brown. Go after what you want and stop looking in the mirror. Sorry about this. I got off track. I loved this review and I'm anxious to read the book. Beautiful and timely book review, Mr. Moore.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics

Hello Carole, I have always respected your opinion, and I am inclined to agree with you on your just posted opinion. I got an email from Donna Brazile today indicating that subject book won an Image Award.