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Stacey Abrams Is First Black Woman to Give Democratic Response to SOTU

Stacey Abrams Is First Black Woman to Give Democratic Response to SOTU

Democrat Stacey Abrams made history Tuesday by becoming the first Black woman to deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union, offering sharp criticism toward the Trump administration and Republicans.

Abrams blamed Trump for the partial government shutdown, which was the longest in the country’s history, saying that it was “a stunt engineered by the president.” She also said dreams of American families were “being crushed by Republican leadership that ignored real life or just doesn’t understand it,” according to CNN.

In November, Abrams lost her bid to become governor of Georgia, a feat that would have made her the first Black woman in the U.S. Her race against Republican Brian Kemp launched Abrams onto the national stage, where she received support from prominent Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Abrams, 45, said that voting rights was a major issue, particularly voter suppression and voting is “the next battle for our democracy.” Last fall’s Georgia’s gubernatorial race was hit with accusations of voter suppression, primarily in predominately Black districts.

“None of these ambitions are possible without the bedrock guarantee of our right to vote,” she said. “Let’s be clear: Voter suppression is real.” She added, “We cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote. This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a power grab.”

In her response, Abrams also spoke on gun control, climate change and immigration reform. “We know bipartisanship could craft a 21st century immigration plan, but this administration chooses to cage children and tear families apart.”

Check out Abrams’ full response below.

Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.