With Georgia quite literally on everyone’s mind this week, I spent the time reading about all the visionaries that made this blue season possible. Almost all of them are black, female and gifted. Like Nse Ufot of the New Georgia Project (here). Not only is Nse a proud naturalized citizen, but she was born in Nigeria and raised in Southwest Atlanta. In the middle of a global pandemic, Nse and her organization worked tirelessly to ensure that all Georgians knew that their voices mattered and that these voices needed to be heard through their vote. She used her voice for power, as a vital necessity for existence. And the result is quite simply sterling. Nse is sterling.
Sterling in silence. Sterling in her ability to be silent, but plant seeds for over seven years, seeds that led to 800,000 Georgians registering and flourishing with their vote in 2020. Sterling in her ability to mobilize young people, people of color, women, all sorts of women in Georgia. Sterling with being a strong leading voice, drowning our misinformation that undermines democracies. Sterling in calling out the incompetence of failed leadership. Sterling in her passion for the pain inflicted by the ongoing global pandemic among the very Georgians who continue to bear its brunt. Sterling in her fight to end voter suppression for all.
But Nse is also sterling in survival. Sterling with surviving the election of 2020 that has Georgia quite literally on everyone’s mind. Sterling in working with other black female leaders (I will reflect on all of them this week) to do the unthinkable with making Georgia, a very red state, turn blue for the first time since 1992, during the most pivotal election of my lifetime. Sterling still, post-election in helping to cure votes since Tuesday night before the Friday deadline. Sterling in turning many Georgians singular vote, their hopes and dreams with it, toward survival and change.
Nse Ufot is sterling. She is also a great reminder of how hard black women work, behind the scenes, for years, to transform our silence into a language of survival. Audre Lorde and all the black female leaders who have gone before us (and the black men too) would be so proud of you Nse. Keep being sterling.