Skip to main content
Past Event

Claiming seats at the table: Black women’s electoral strength in an era of fractured politics

Past Event

50 years after the election of Shirley Chisholm as the first African American woman to serve in Congress, black women are flexing their electoral strength across the country. From their overwhelming impact in the Alabama special election, to the record number of black women running and winning elections at the state and local level, it is clear that there is a wave of electoral momentum.

Black women vote at the highest rates of any gender or racial subgroup; however, they are woefully underrepresented in elected office. While black women make up 7.3 percent of the country’s population, they account for less than 4 percent of Congress and state legislators.

On September 10, the Metropolitan Policy Program, in partnership with Higher Heights Leadership Fund, explored the tapped and untapped electoral strength of black women. David M. Rubenstein Fellow Andre Perry presented analysis on current seats held by black officials and the strength of the black electorate to make their voices heard. Afterwards, a panel of black female elected leaders discussed the implications and opportunities that can be harnessed and addressed in our modern political era.


Welcome and presentation

Panel discussion

Closing remarks

More Information

To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.

Get a weekly events calendar from Brookings