Tuesday’s election invoked the unbought and unbossed spirit of Shirley Chisholm. Forget Black Girl Magic, nothing that these women did during this election season was hocus-pocusy. They came to their campaigns ready to fight for their people and achieved some historic and pretty amazing goals. While the most trending stories of Black women in this election season swirled around Georgia’s gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams and the many sisters running for congressional seats, few people took note of those big bad mamajamas from Texas.
Known as The #Houston19, the 19 Black women ran for various judicial seats in Harris County and won every single one of their races.
Why is this so important? Harris County is not only the largest county in Houston, but it is the third largest county in the United States. Because it stretches so vast and far across Houston, the people the live in the county are racially, ethnically and culturally diverse. With 41% Latino, 31% white, 19.5% Black, 7% Asian and 1% Native American (according to the 2014 Census) there is no one common cultural point of view. However, what crosses all racial lines is the high percentage of poor people (21% of all children that live in Harris County live below the poverty line), the high infant mortality rate (1,000 die before age one) and the 38% high school drop out rate. If that is not devastating enough, The Harris County Jail Complex is the largest in Texas, and is one of the largest in the nation.
While there are plenty of things in the county (3rd Ward & 5th Ward) that will give caution to tourists, Harris County is also the home of many Hip-Hop and R&B celebs such as Scarface, J. Prince, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, DJ Screw, Sauce Walka and Beyoncé who love the town and all that it represents. These women add to the names of notables that rep for area.
These 19 women of color have pledged to serve the community with compassion. Coming from the same places that many of their people that come before them come from, many believe that they will have a more tolerant and empathetic stance on the case they are called to rule.