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McKinney: 1st Black Woman Nominee for POTUS

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The 2008 Presidential election has produced yet another milestone in African American history. On Saturday, July 12th, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney secured the Green Party nomination... making her their official standard bearer for the office of the President of the United States of America.

Being a ground breaker is not new for her, as McKinney was the first African American woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. This former Democrat served six terms in Congress before losing her 2006 bid for re-election.

McKinney's history-making feat also allows... for the first time in this nation... two Black candidate's names (McKinney and Senator Obama) to be placed on the election ballot in most––if not all–– the States in the Fall. Regardless of anti-war McKinney's irrefutable reputation in the past of being a bit over-the-top, or hot-tempered... her victory gives way for all Americans, particularly African American women, men, boys and girls to celebrate this high-point in our culture/country. Like it or not, McKinney will be noted in the annals of time as the first African American woman in Presidential history to represent a major party in pursuit of the highest office in the nation.

With that said, let us relish in the pride of the moment and applaud McKinney for doing what several other African American women: Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (1972), Dr. Isabelle Masters (1984, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004), Leonora B. Fulani (1988 and 1992) and Senator Carole Moseley Braun (2004) attempted to do... but failed.

Now, there are those who will attempt to verbally assail her as a "spoiler" or an "Obama hater" for jumping into the race at this juncture. But we live on a rapidly expanding 'global' playground... and African Americans can no longer be pigeonholed to one party nor viewed as one-dimensional or monolithic on the political landscape. Indeed, having an African American man and woman participating on the national and international stage, debating alongside Senator John McCain, on critical issues and platforms to make America better... will make great theater.

With both Barack Obama and Cynthia McKinney's names on this year's presidential ballot will make available a 'choice' that has not been afforded to Blacks in this country EVER, and may not ever happen like this again in our lifetime.

So, hats off to Green Party Presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney... may the best man or woman win!


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Vivian Berryhill, founder of a national service organization, is a renowned speaker and travels extensively throughout the United States and abroad. She has addressed audiences in Thailand, Nigeria, Honduras, Peru, Chile, and has traveled to Kenya, (more...)
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