Wake Up America: Black Women on the Future of Democracy

Female leaders of color exemplify the blueprint for fostering “a democratic landscape that is all-encompassing and embraces diversity.”

Echoing the resounding call of Fannie Lou Hamer to awaken to the pressing need to address the ongoing task of “constructing democracy,” Blain, the author behind Until I Am Free and Set the World on Fire, assembles an illustrious group of Black women to delve into some of today’s most contentious issues. Covering a range of topics, the contributors delve into matters such as reproductive and electoral rights, racial parity in healthcare, wage equality, economic fairness, and the rights of individuals with disabilities and those in the LGBTQ+ community. In her introduction, Blain perceptively observes that Black women, having endured historical injustices and the gravest infringements on their rights as citizens and human beings, “possess a unique ability to confront the injustices prevalent in our society.” Furthermore, they represent the most steadfast voting demographic in the United States today. The initial section of the book features Laphonza Butler, former president of EMILY’s List, who, following the passing of Dianne Feinstein, was recently appointed as a senator in California. Butler discusses how the significant regression of Roe v. Wade in 2022 should serve as a catalyst to galvanize efforts in electing women who champion pro-choice policies to public office. Raquel Willis poignantly argues that despite the growing visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, the voices of transgender individuals continue to be marginalized. In the subsequent segment titled “Empowering Communities,” Dr. Rhea Boyd addresses racial disparities within the fractured American healthcare system, while Donna Brazile delves into her role as a Democratic strategist, breaking down gender barriers to foster “coalition building.” In the concluding portion, “Confronting Prejudice,” contributors tackle the systemic and often violent injustices still faced by Black Americans. Dr. Jacqui Lewis eloquently expounds upon the Zulu concept of ubuntu, emphasizing the profound sense of shared humanity that unites us all. Most contributors offer historical insights along with concrete strategies for propelling progress.

A vibrant ensemble of voices leading the charge in fortifying a genuine democratic framework.

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Author: Keisha N. Blain

Page Count: 256

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Mary Owens

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