Black Women in American Politics 2019, outlines the status of Black women in American politics in November 2019, one year ahead of the 2020 election. In drawing from the lessons of the 2018 elections, the report highlights how we saw a new class of women officeholders across offices at all levels, and Black women shared in those successes, while also contributing significantly as voters to overall gains for Democratic candidates.
The data demonstrate that, even with the gains Black women saw at some levels of office in 2018 and 2019, there is more work to do to ensure that Black women’s representation in elected office reflects their presence in American society. But there were some key wins for women of color overall – and Black women in particular:
- A record number of Black women currently serve in Congress, after a record number of women won nominations for the U.S. House in the 2018 election.
- Between 2018 and 2019, Black women saw the largest gain in representation at the state legislative level since 1994. In 2019, a record number of Black women serve in state legislative office.
- Black women made important and historic gains in the 2018 election, but the resulting changes in their political representation remain incremental.
- While the number of Black women in statewide elected executive office doubled between 2018 and 2019 (from three to six), Black women remain severely underrepresented as officeholders at the statewide executive level, holding just 1.9% of these positions. Just 15 Black women have ever held statewide elected executive offices, and no Black woman has ever been elected governor despite the first-ever major party nomination of a Black woman for governor in election 2018.