Make no mistake about it, Black women have been the engine, vehicle, and drivers of the 2020 election.

Not only is “justice on the ballot,” as Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris has emphasized since she firmly stepped into the national spotlight, but democracy itself. With President Donald Trump ushering in an age of fascism—and COVID-19 and police brutality devastating communities across the nation—Black women have fought relentlessly to influence policy and political discourse. They’ve done this not only to hold the United States to its highest ideals, but to create concrete changes that will protect generations to come.

Black women lead because we know the stakes.

“There’s no question that we need immediate change and drastic change, and that’s so much of what the Biden-Harris platform and what the Biden-Harris administration will be about,” Harris told ESSENCE in the November/December 2020 issue. “It’s about saying, ‘We need to immediately address a number of issues that demand priority….’ And that relates to getting people back to work. It means investing in infrastructure and creating millions of new jobs. It means fighting for health care for all people.”

In the photo gallery below, ESSENCE highlights 19 Black women who are fighting for the former California attorney general and Vice President Joe Biden every, single day because they are fighting for the soul of this country.

We asked these dynamic leaders what keeps them motivated, what brings them joy, and what keeps them grounded in the midst of what is, surely, one of the most critical election of our lifetimes.


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