The Importance of Being an African-American Democrat

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Camille M. Henderson is currently interning with Mary Wright Edelman at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), where she is committed to being an agent of change in the lives of disadvantaged American youth. Ms. Henderson is working with the CDF in preparation for their national conference, titled "Pursuing Justice for Children and the Poor with Urgency and Persistence." To prepare for this occasion, they studied The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp to train presenters on the concept of nonviolent practice.

 I am proud to call Ms. Edelman and Ms. Henderson my Spelman sisters and thus have asked that Ms. Henderson share her insight on what it means to be a young African-American Democrat:

“I have always been told that I stand on the shoulders of my African-American ancestors. The more I progress in my search of who I am destined to become, the more I realize this statement to be true. From actions of African-American heroes past and present, it has been proven that I come from greatness. In efforts to uphold this standard of greatness, it is from each act of courage that I gain a fearless strength. It is with each gesture of servitude that I commit myself to a life of public service. It is through each act of leadership that I boldly dedicate my service as an example to generations after me.

My grandmother has taught me that 'to whom much is given, much is required.' There is no denying that these heroes have invested their life’s work towards the betterment of my own. From each sit in, every freedom ride, and march on segregated land, my ancestors have given me more than I can ever imagine. They gave me the foundation upon which I shall continue the fight for justice, freedom, and equality. They gave me wisdom that I may carry with me on my journey of servant leadership. So when asked what it means to be a young, African-American Democrat, my answer is simply the responsibility given to me through the work of my ancestors on whose shoulders I stand.”