Political #BlackGirlMagic: Database Tracks Black Female Candidates in 2018 Races - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

When it comes to politics, African American women have been taking the Black Girl Magic up more than few notches. From black womensaving Alabama” to power woman Keisha Lance Bottoms winning the Atlanta mayoral seat, becoming only the second woman in history to hold the position. Now, four black women are adding their mojo and tech-savvy to the landscape with a new database of black female candidates running for office in 2018.

Luvvie Ajayi—a Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit alumna—Sili Recio, Lucrecer Braxton, and Candace Jones put their heads together to fill a void after searching Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to cultivate a list of candidates, according to Ajayi’s blog. They then created spreadsheets and Google Docs, and were able to come up with a list of more than 200 black women running for office across the nation.

Jeff Reifman, a coder, turned the list into a database that could be easily updated, birthing BlackWomenInPolitics.com. (Ajayi, initially hosting the list on her own website, decided to make a real boss move and buy the domain to host the site.) It now includes 390 black female candidates and counting.

Ajayi also says, via her blog, that the database is not for endorsements of a particular candidate but should serve as a “phone book” of sorts, with information for voters to make their own choices. Users can browse candidates by location or name, and they can even fill out a form to suggest a candidate to add or give more information for the database. The team also raised the bar a bit higher for voter advocacy, adding a button that redirects to Vote.org, where you can register to vote in your local and state elections.

Just a quick snapshot at some of the data by location tells a larger story on black women in politics, and if you’re a data geek, you can gain some vital and interesting insights of your own in terms of black female representation in politics. It also seems to be a great way to spot promising newbies who might change the game when it’s time for our current president to finally step out of the White House. With the political power of black women in the spotlight now and the power of the black dollar, the prospects for a black female president seem more feasible than ever before. Hey, can’t we all hope, wish, and pray?

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is a digital media journalist, speaker, editor, and consultant who has worked for media powerhouses including The New York Times, Black Enterprise, and Conde Nast. The Hampton University graduate's work and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, E!Online, Ebony.com, CBS News and Brazen Careerist. She's fluent in women's issues, career advancement, guilty (TV) pleasures and Trini patois.


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