Iconic congresswoman, civil rights activist and 2017 ESSENCE Festival speaker Maxine Waters has attracted a new generation of fans with her unapologetic opposition to the Trump presidency, but she’s certainly no stranger to standing strong for what she believes in most.
As we continue to celebrate Auntie Maxine, here’s a look back at 17 unforgettable moments — epic shade in tow — that saw her on the front lines fighting for what’s right over the years.
Black women mobilized to clap back at systematic racism we face at work in defense of Aunt Maxine Waters after Bill O’Reilly made a disparaging remark about her hair. Waters’ appearance. Commenting negatively on a black woman’s hair is just one of the many microaggressions black women face at work, as the women who participated showcased with harrowing stories about people’s ignorance.
Congresswoman Waters spoke out at FAME Renaissance Center in Los Angeles on the topic of Haiti recovery efforts following a monstrous earthquake in 2010.
Congresswoman Waters spoke at a 1996 press conference in South Central L.A., where she holds up a package to illustrate the size of a kilo of cocaine, which she says was sold on the streets of South Central by CIA operatives in order to fund the infamous Contra rebels of Nicaragua.
In July 2017, Congresswoman Waters held her ground while questioning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about Trump’s financial ties to Russia amid continued investigations into Russian officials hacking the 2016 election.
Congresswoman Waters took to the podium to chair a session on mandatory minimums during the annual Congressional Black Caucus Convention in 2012.
Earl Gibson III
Congresswoman Waters spoke in support of flight attendants who protested outside Los Angeles International Airport’s to call for a ban on small pocket knives on airplanes in 2013.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters has represented her constituents in California for nearly three decades. But she captured the rest of the country’s attention the moment she uttered “can I help you what do you want?” in the first of many no-holds-barred media appearances lambasting the government’s apparent ties to election tampering and Russian collusion. Affectionately known as Auntie Maxine, due to her blunt and unpretentious delivery, Waters has been a preeminent force in calling out Trump’s incompetence and moral failings as America’s president.
Congresswoman Waters listened to testimony from the House Judiciary Committee on the proposed Comcast-NBC merger in 2010, which allowed for the addition of at least 3 cable networks with minority ownership.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters addressed the crowd during a 2017 press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, where she called for an investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.
Aaron P. Bernstein
Congresswoman Waters joins actress Tracee Ellis-Ross to present Taraji P. Henson with the ‘Best Fight Against The System’ Award for her role in the history-making film, “Hidden Figures,” at the 2017 MTV Movie Awards.
Congresswoman Waters spoke during a rally for Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Then-L.A. Councilwoman Waters marched alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson in protest of the Georgia State flag’s inclusion of the confederate flag in 1994 at the Georgia Dome.
Congresswoman Waters served as a volunteer at the Los Angeles Mission, where she helped provide free Easter dinner to those in need during the holiday in 2010.
Congresswoman Waters spoke out in support of impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney in 2007, citing his involvement with the war in Iraq, as well as other accusations of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Congresswoman Waters joined Rev. Jesse Jackson, actor Sean Penn and hundreds of others during a protest of the war in Iraq on Capitol Hill in 2007.
Congresswoman Waters, we salute you for being a stellar example of the strength of Black women and all that we can achieve, no matte what level of adversity we may face.
Rep. Maxine Waters, Democratic Candidate For California’s 43rd District (Image: Courtesy of Chelsea Guglielmino)