9 Things To Know About Stacey Abrams, The Woman Who May Become America's First Black Female Governor
Stacey Abrams already made history as the first black woman in America to hold a major party's nomination for governor.
Stacey Abrams has made history. On Tuesday, May 22, she won Georgia's Democratic primary gubernatorial race, becoming the first black woman in the U.S. to hold a major party nomination for governor. If Abrams wins the state's November gubernatorial election, she would become the first black female governor in American history.
Abrams' gubernatorial race is undoubtedly monumental. Not only could she make history by becoming the first black female governor, her win would represent a political shift in Georgia. The conservative-leaning state hasn't elected a Democratic governor in more than a decade. Abrams would also become the state's first female governor, of any race.
The gubernatorial race in Georgia is certainly historic. Here are nine facts about Abrams, the woman who has already broken barriers:
1. Abrams served as Georgia's House Minority Leader.
Abrams previously made history in Georgia. As Georgia’s House Minority Leader, she was the first woman of either party to lead the state's general assembly.
2. She's a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School.
The Democratic nominee is a graduate of Spelman College, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and Yale Law School.
3. The Democratic nominee once shared the isolation she felt as the sole black girl in her Girl Scout troop.
Abrams once shared a story at a fundraiser about the racial discrimination she experienced being a black Girl Scout in the mid '80s, Mother Jones reported. She said she was given a hard time when she was selected to represent her home state of Mississippi at a Girl Scout national conference.
"...There were some folks in our Girl Scout troop who were unhappy with me — a black girl — being selected,” she said.
She added that when she got to the airport she learned someone had changed her reservation. So she got on another flight, her first, and traveled by herself to Arizona, Mother Jones reported.
"There are gonna be a lot of people who try to stop you from getting on that plane,” she told the crowd. “There are a lot of people organizing themselves to make sure I land at the wrong destination. There are folks who don’t think it’s time for a black woman to be governor of any state, let alone a state in the Deep South. But there’s no wrong time for a black woman to be in charge.”
4. She is an author.
Abrams wrote and released a book this year titled, Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change.
She has also written eight romance suspense novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery.
5. Abrams was her high school’s valedictorian.
The Georgia politician was Avondale High School's valedictorian. She has widely shared an experience in which she was invited to be honored at Georgia's governor's mansion as valedictorian. Abrams and her family were stopped by a security guard who refused to let them inside.
"I distinctly remember him looking at the MARTA bus, looking at my parents and making a decision," she said according to CNN. "The security guard refused to allow us inside. He said it was a private event."
6. She has the support of the unapologetic Rep. Frederica Wilson.
According to Mother Jones, Rep. Wilson was in attendance at a fundraiser for Abrams held at a soul food restaurant in Atlanta owned by the Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss.
Rep. Wilson notably claimed that Trump told Myeshia Johnson, widow of fallen American soldier Sgt. La David T. Johnson, that her husband "...knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt."
Abrams has since received endorsements from Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also endorsed Abrams.
7. She's one of six children.
Abrams is the second oldest of six children. Her parents are Methodist ministers who made a point to have their children volunteer and be involved in public service.
8. She co-founded a financial firm.
Abrams co-founded a financial services firm aimed to help grow small businesses called NOW Account.
9. She founded a non-partisan coalition to register voters of color.
The New Georgia Project, which was founded by Abrams, reportedly submitted more than 200,000 registrations for voters of color between 2014 and 2016, according to Abrams' website.