/Stacey Abrams keeps presidential possibility alive in Tougaloo commencement speech

Stacey Abrams keeps presidential possibility alive in Tougaloo commencement speech

This setting might have been the perfect backdrop for the long-awaited announcement about a new kind of movement. Stacey Abrams was a rising political star who lost her bid to become Georgia’s governor. She has been lauded for her efforts, and she was on many shortlists for higher office. However, she decided not to make such an announcement during her commencement speech at the 150th anniversary of the historically black college. As she addressed more 100 seniors, Abrams left open the possibility of a national campaign as she spoke to them at Jackson’s alma mater. Abrams said that she did not fail in her defeat to Republican Brian Kemp last November. “I fell. There is a big difference. Failure is an experience. Failure is an activity. However, rising up and moving on is your responsibility. That is your goal and your chance. “That is what we are here for.” Abrams cautioned graduates against editing their dreams and encouraged them to fight against others’ expectations. She cited instances when her supporters didn’t expect a black woman would win her race. Abrams was born on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and served seven years in the Georgia General Assembly as the House minority leader. Since she was nominated for the governorship by a major party last year, her profile has increased in national politics. There were accusations of voter suppression, conflicts of interest and voter suppression in the race between Kemp and Abrams. Kemp was Georgia’s secretary-of-state at the time. He oversaw elections, including his own campaign against Abrams. Kemp was also subject to several civil rights groups suing him for discriminatory practices in his office. The official results from the secretary of state’s offices showed Kemp winning the election by 55,000 votes. Abrams admitted defeat after the results were certified, but refused to concede. She and her supporters claimed that Abrams had improperly purge voter rolls and other forms voter suppression. An Associated Press investigation found that Kemp’s office did not process more than 53,000 voter applications. 70% of those who applied were African American. The Democratic-controlled U.S. House Oversight Committee opened an investigation into the allegations in Georgia last month. Abrams, who was elected in November, promised to fight voter suppression in the South. This message is popular among Democrats and makes her a desirable candidate for progressives. She ruled out running for the seat currently held in Republican U.S. Senator David Perdue. After news reports that Joe Biden, former Vice President, asked Abrams about her thoughts on joining his presidential ticket, Abrams said she didn’t believe she would run for second place. It remains to be seen if Abrams will announce her bid for the presidency or run for another term as governor in 2022, options Abrams floated in Mississippi. Abrams stated in her Tougaloo address that “In the end, we did not become governor of Georgia” and hinted at another chance at a gubernatorial run. She added, “Now that’s no announcement because apparently there’s also a presidential contest and that I’m looking into too.” “And there are jobs between.” Abrams traces her Mississippi roots through Tougaloo. She cites many family members, including her parents, Carolyn Abrams and Robert Abrams, who were both United Methodist ministers. They would tell their children about Tougaloo, the campus trees, its history, and the lessons learned. Abrams shared with the crowd that they found love, a family, and a future there. Abrams and her parents now live in Hattiesburg. They traveled from Hattiesburg to Tougaloo to see their daughter speak. After Abrams’s speech, her mother was beaming with pride. Carolyn Abrams stated, “Whatever she does, it will feel comfortable and something she’ll be suited to, and that will benefit other people.” Abrams was a Gulfport preschooler through 10th grader. Her family was involved with a variety of ministries serving the homeless, poor and detained. This upbringing shaped Abrams’s worldview as well as her political philosophy, according to her mother. Later Abrams received degrees from Spelman College and Yale Law School. Tougaloo was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws on Sunday. Beverly Hogan, the outgoing president of Tougaloo, said to Abrams, “Having the right concentration, you made strategic markings on your life map, arriving at where you are today. A respected stateswoman and prolific writer, a reasoned advocate for the future.” “And your life map may not be complete.”