Stacey Yvonne Abrams was born December 9, 1973 in Madison, WI. The second of six siblings, Abrams was born to Robert and Carolyn Abrams and raised in Gulfport, MS. Her family moved to Atlanta, GA allowing her parents to pursue graduate studies at Emory University, eventually becoming Methodist ministers. With parents who valued education, Abrams attended Avondale High School, graduating as their valedictorian. She went on to attend Spelman College, the #1 HBCU for over 10 years as reported by U.S. News and World Report (this author also graduated from Spelman, so I am biased)! As a Harry S. Truman Scholar, Abrams studied public policy at the University of Texas at Austin‘s LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she earned a Master of Public Affairs degree in 1998. In 1999, she earned a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
As a student at Spelman College, Abrams was very active. She worked in the youth division office for Maynard Jackson, the mayor of Atlanta at that time and later interned with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Abrams was also an active participant in political and civil rights, a trait that is promoted at Spelman. She participated in a protest to replace the Georgia state flag. At that time, it still contained the Confederate flag image.
As a politician, Abrams was the Democratic nominee in 2018 for the Governor of the State of Georgia. Despite an excellent campaign, she was defeated in a controversial decision. This did not deter Abrams political career. She founded Fair Fight Action, an organization founded to address voter suppression, especially in Georgia and Texas.
Having served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, Abrams had a prominent career in politics. She decided to continue her career by running for governor in 2018. The 2018 gubernatorial race received national attention for irregularities in voter access to the ballot. At the time, Brian Kemp was serving as Secretary of State for Georgia and was responsible for the state’s voter rolls. He stalled 50,000 votes, which was interpreted by Civil Rights groups as intentional voter suppression since his action affected predominantly black voters. Kemp gives a whole new meaning to be careful what you wish for, as he may have never foreseen the consequences of his actions.
Despite losing this election, Abrams was encouraged to and considered running for U.S. President. Ultimately, she decided to establish Fair Fight Action, commit to fighting voter suppression and go on to change the world as we know it today!
One of my Spelman sisters who I admittedly have only seen on campus as a student in 1991-92 and an alumni at campus events, I am so proud to call her my Spelman Sistah and share that she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.
A little known fact about Stacey Abrams is that she is also an author of fictional work! Under the pen name Selena Montgomery, Abrams is the award-winning author of several romantic suspense novels having sold over 100,000 copies. Abrams wrote her first book as a third year student at Yale Law. Check out Selena Montgomery’s books. You will be pleasantly surprised! Despite her busy schedule, her writing career is still flourishing. Abrams will publish her newest book under own name in May 2021. It is called When Justice Sleeps. I can’t wait to read it.
At a time when the intellect of people of color, veracity of American history and the value of Black women is questioned and distorted, it is so important to share the story of American people. As Black people and Black women, WE ARE Americans. We have a story to tell, and it is the success and work of people like Stacey Abrams that inspires and truly changes the world!
Check out this article on Stacey Abrams’s nomination for the Novel Peace Prize.