Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reached out to black women voters, and encouraged them to run for elected office during the Ida B. Wells Legacy Committee Fundraising Luncheon in Chicago this week, ABC 7 Chicago reports.
Reflecting on her 2016 presidential election loss to Donald Trump, Clinton praised black women for their steadfast commitment to the Democratic Party.
"Black women have done more than your part to stand up for American values and to keep us moving forward," said Clinton.
In 2016, black women were among her most passionate and dedicated supporters. An estimated 94 percent of black women voters supported Clinton in the presidential election. An estimated 53 percent of white women voters supported Donald Trump.
"It is not enough to thank black women, we need to support black women," she added.
Just last year, black women played a vital role in getting Senator Doug Jones of Alabama elected. Black women single-handedly shifted the tide against Republican candidate Roy Moore. Black voters, in general, came out in droves for Jones with 98 percent of black women and 96 percent of black men voting for him.
“We are living in challenging times. We’re living through a war on truth, facts and reason — watching as racists’ and white supremacists’ views are lifted up in the media and in the White House,” she said. “But despite it all, there are signs of hope and resilience, and much of that is being led and shaped by black women.”
Sharon Fairley, who recently lost the Democratic primary for Illinois attorney general in a crowded field of men, said black women candidates face an uphill battle because of racial and gender bias.
"Sometimes people have a hard time envisioning black women in these really important political roles. So it is a challenge," said Fairley.
Former Illinois senator Carol Moseley Braun, however, believes that these challenges should not discourage black women from seeking elected office.
"It's very difficult, but you can't be deterred by the difficulties," Braun said. "You have to really be focused on the opportunities and the opportunities to the larger community."