“As an African-American woman who has been involved in the struggle, you know it’s coming. You know who they are and you know how to not let it devastate you, and you build the strength to fight back, to push back and let it just go over your shoulders, you know? It’s not something that’s going to put me in the bed and say, ‘Oh my God!’ Every day I wake up, I wake up energized.” – RP. Maxine Waters (D-CALI)
These are the words of an African American woman who has learned to welcome her battles, stay ready for the journeys it will take her on and utilize her strength to keep going. If you haven’t already gotten your life, you will as you journey with Aunty Maxine or Queen Maxine as we affectionately call her. Either name you choose, you will put some respect on it. Queen Maxines are all too necessary in this world, simply because they are not there to just take the ride, but to lead the charge and give you the tools you need to fight against the struggle. She has no time for the faint of heart but she will remind them and everyone else that she is not to be slept on. Ever.
I mean her resume speaks for itself. Since before we were thought of, Queen Maxine has been holding it down. She is now in her 14th term as a Congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to joining the House of Representatives she was a part of the California State Assembly, pushing some of the boldest legislation California has ever seen such as: the largest divestment of state pension funds from South Africa, landmark affirmative action, our country’s first statewide Child Abuse Prevention Training Program and prohibiting of police strip searches for nonviolent misdemeanors. Her policies have brought in $10 billion for cities for economic and infrastructure development, housing and small business expansion, $50 million for a “Youth Fair Chance” program for unemployed youth and so much more. She moves all these mountains while jamming out to her favorite rapper, Tupac!
In 37 years she has proven herself a force to be reckoned with, using her voice and platform to call out the foolery that goes on within the world of politics while implementing policies that uplift communities from Compton to Cape Town. It is no surprise why she is hailed Queen Maxine. Through the vehicle of social media, her thoughts on today’s politics are heard even more resoundingly, especially those involving Donald Trump. Her words provide a breath of fresh air and invoke two snaps and a “Preacchhh sis!”
We all have at least one but likely many loving and strong women in our family who seem to be our anchor, ready to give us advice that gets you all the way right, even when you don’t want to hear it. As we reflect on how their words of strength, dignity and power take root in our hearts and minds, it reminds us that there always has to be someone unwaveringly ready to stand up against adversity. Maxine Waters represents just that as an unmovable force, no matter what comes her way.
Still don’t believe me? I’ll let her speak for herself:
“What he failed to tell you is that when you are on my time, I can reclaim it… Reclaiming my time.”
“I am a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated, I cannot be undermined…We also know that when a woman stands up and speaks truth to power, there will be attempts to put her down and so I’m not going to be put down. I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to stay on the issues.”
“We’ve got to stop HIS ass.”
“I have a right to my anger, and I don’t want anybody telling me I shouldn’t be, that it’s not nice to be, and that something’s wrong with me because I get angry.”
“I am not afraid of anybody. This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell.”
“No one should be surprised by me.”
And we know not to be. Rather than be surprised by her fearlessness, we see it, we appreciate it, we hope to emulate it and continue to stomp on those barriers you’ve broken down for us as we push further in hopes of doing the same for those coming after us. Aunty Maxine, and all of the unsung Queen Maxines out there, we love and support you. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to build up our communities.
Donna L. Patterson | Write to Live Team