Friday, July 30, 2004

carrying on the spirt of fannie lou hamer

Excerpt from "Forty years after Fannie Lou Hamer"

-- Joan Walsh

"Donna Brazile spends a lot of her time these days in front of the camera, but she was behind it Wednesday afternoon, to document a history-making reception by Future PAC, known by the shorthand "the black Emily's List," since it focuses on electing black women to office. On the 40th anniversary of Fannie Lou Hamer's historic trip to the 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, N.J., where her Mississippi Freedom Party members challenged the seating of the whites-only official delegation, Future PAC honored three black women who represent "the spirit of Fannie Lou Hamer," in the words of its chairwoman Gwen Moore -- Connecticut treasurer Denise Napier, philanthropist Gloria Gary and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris -- along with at least a dozen other black women elected officials who turned up."

"Black women are by far the most reliable Democratic voters, but their representation among elected officials doesn't match their voter turnout. Future PAC is an effort to marshal their growing if still limited economic power to change that equation. "Black women give money to church, church, church," said Kathy Taylor, managing director of WGBH and a board member, marveling at the crowd of women who paid $125 to attend. "We are the change that we've been looking for," Moore told the group...."

"...This is a new Democratic Party," Donna Brazile said. "Black delegates no longer come and expect nothing. We have the keynote speaker, and no one could have captured the spirit of the party better than Barack Obama. He gave the Democrats a reason to be joyful, and we hold the power in at least eight battleground states. This is a new political season...."