The Election: What Do Black Women Think?

When faced with a choice between Clinton and Obama, what do black women do?  Do they vote their race? Do they vote their gender?  All the reporters want to know…. 

So what are African-American women talking about when the cameras aren’t watching or, more importantly, what are we telling the media that is not being fairly reported? African-American women are talking about the issues!  

We talk about the vision that each candidate has for leading this country. We enthusiastically discuss the possibility that real, positive change will come from this election. We even parse the policy distinctions in the candidates’ positions on education, creating jobs and ending the war in Iraq.

Sometimes, the issues we talk about do deal with aspects of gender and racial identity. We debated Sen. Hillary Clinton’s statement implying that Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement did not fulfill its promise until Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. We argue and marvel at the significant generational divide in the African-American community that is being exposed by this election process.

If you listen closely to the women in the news features at the beauty shops, they are commenting on these issues, even when the voice-over in the same feature is telling you that the women are discussing whether it’s more important to have the first woman or the first black president. 

What? Huh? They talk about the issues? If only somebody would listen. (For more, see Danielle Holley-Walker’s column here. Thanks, Jender-Parents, the for the link!)