Black Women Hold Only 0.6%, of Statewide Elected Executive Offices Across the U.S.

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In 2008 the United States elected its first black president, but although Obama’s rise may Nina turner signal the rise of black male politicians, a New York Times report seems to indicate that black female politicians haven’t been so lucky.

Women suffer from the same barriers to entry as their white female counterparts, as well as black male politicians.

Ohio State Senator Nina Turner also attributed the lack of black women in state elected office to the refusal of state leaders to recruit black women.

“Nobody from the state Democratic party structure said I should run. Nobody came to me and said  ‘Senator Nina Turner, we need you,’” she explained during an interview with the Times.

Data taken from the  NYT tells the story:

  • In 2014, Black women hold only two, or 0.6%, of the 318 statewide elected executive offices across the United States. Denise Nappier (D-CT) serves as Connecticut’s State Treasurer and Kamala Harris (D-CA) is California’s Attorney General.
  • Black women are 2.7% of all 74 women in statewide executive offices, 28.6% of all 7 women of color, and 25% of all 8 African-Americans holding statewide elected executive offices.
  • Since 1979, 10 black women have had statewide elected executive offices. Here’s a full list of the black women who have been elected, note that there has yet to be a black woman governor, although in California Harris seems poised to rise up the ranks and perhaps run for governor over the next few years.

But don’t get too gloomy because there are some positive signs on the horizon.

“The history of black women’s political representation is a recent but promising one,” Kelly Dittmar of the CAWP told the Times. “Black women’s representational growth has occurred primarily in the past two decades with the trend likely to continue upward as more black women run.”


  1. Bert C

    June 22, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Black women are neither liked or respected by politicians of neither parties.If you notice in a recent article that some of the Congressional Black Caucus(CBC) has been exposed as collaborators with Wall Street Types. Sorry to say most of the CBC has lost credibility with the Black community. We need Blacks to get together and form a third party, a blind man can see that the REP and DEMOS do not have our best interest at heart. Remember, when Obama entered office DEMOS has control of all three branches of government, the CBC did not speak up and demand not one thing. I was looking for at least a Jobs bill, but nothing.

    As for the Ohio State Senator you have profiled in this article she is a regular member of MSNBC, which like Fox truly does not give a s**t about Blacks. Like Fox they regurgitate the same talking heads day after day, talking loud and saying nothing to help not only Blacks, but the American people in general.

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