The first African American AND first woman to represent Indiana in Congress, Julia Carson, died this weekend. She served 6 terms in Congress, actively opposed the current war, focused on children’s, women’s, homeless, and civil rights. She is perhaps best known for introducing and “pushing through” legislation to award Rosa Parks with the Congressional Gold Medal.
In this age of forgetting the important contribution of African American women, and women of color in general, to political leadership in this nation, it is important to mark the passage and the contribution of our pioneers. Women of color have always been among the leaders of this nation and the important social movements. Some have run for president and some for vice president while others have run their own organizations or been partners in the struggle of a multitude of political, social, and economic organizations. When the only woman garnering attention for running for president is sanctioning (how ever covertly) calling her black opponent a drug dealer, we must look to these other leaders to see another way of doing feminism and social justice.