Congresswoman Maxine Waters brought the heat to the Essence Festival Power Stage on Saturday afternoon. In a stirring address, she told thousands of attendees that the time for Black women is now.

As the nation readies for the 2020 elections, Waters did not mince words about the power of the specific voting bloc and the community as a whole. The veteran politician from California also used herself as a blueprint for what needs to be done to remove Donald Trump from office. 

“I’m not intimidated. I’m not afraid,” Waters said about opposing the man in the Oval Office. “All of my life I have been trained to deal with demagogues like him. I will take him on any day of the week. And so what I want to leave with you today is this is our time, ladies.” 

Waters pointed to the many ways in which Black women have proven that they are ready to step up to the challenge of not only removing Trump from office but also taking on the harmful policies that have been created since his election. 

“Black women are moving forward,” Maxine triumphantly stated before adding that we are getting elected to public office in record numbers, remaining civically engaged in our organizations, leading the fight in our educational institutions, and being all-around change agents in our cities and neighborhoods. 

“Don’t be discouraged.

“Don’t be disgusted.

“Don’t give up.

“Show Donald Trump who we are!” Waters said to cheers.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters addresses Essence Fest attendees from the Power Stage.

For the last 400 years, Africans in America have been in combat trying to achieve civil rights, equality, and equity. Waters reminded that, “We are people who are poised to fight, to push back. We are a people who know what the struggle is all about and we don’t give up.”

In closing, Waters left some parting words for those who may have been left unmoved and needed yet another nudge to wield the power that is in their hands. Simply put, she said of Black women:

“We don’t take shit from nobody.”

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