Journalists covering the 2018 mid-term elections enjoy spinning out narratives about cleavages in American society when it comes to voting. The gender gap is one of the tales they can weave together through data and first-person accounts. While gender differences in voting patterns are certainly important, it comfortably fits with a broader tendency to downplay women’s leadership and engagement throughout history. It is critical that we remind journalists, our students, and ourselves, that the gender gap in voting does not capture women’s political contributions or their political diversity. Women’s engagement matters well beyond their votes.
It’s important to remember that Black history is more than just slavery, Jim Crow, and reconstruction. Black history started way before the slave trade began, and it’s being made everyday by Black people of all ethnicities, skin tones, genders, and sexualities. Make the effort to explore it all, because like all Black lives, all Black history matters.
Whether or not you agree with the Take A Knee movement, we need to understand it in context. It reflects a desire to make America’s promises available to all citizens, and a legacy of using controversial tactics to push all of us to think more deeply about uncomfortable issues. It is the modern day civil rights movement.