Black women are a powerful force in the American political system, and their political power continues to grow and garner recognition for the force it is.
The 2020 election marked a major milestone in Black women’s political leadership. Kamala Harris became the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian person on a major-party general election presidential ballot, as well as the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian person to win the vice presidency. Black women also found success across other levels of office, in addition to playing pivotal roles in voter mobilization and voter turnout.
As we look ahead to the midterm elections, which offer greater opportunities for Black women’s gains in statewide offices where they remain especially underrepresented, it’s important to take stock of Black women’s political successes, the persistent hurdles they faced in the 2020 cycle, the outlook for the 2022 election, and the current levels of Black women’s representation nationwide. In this update, we outline the status of Black women in American politics as of fall 2021, one year ahead of the 2022 election.
Previous Status of Black Women in American Politics reports have been published in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in partnership with Higher Heights Leadership Fund and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) a unit of the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University.