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If successfully navigating the turbulent waters of politics is an indication of intelligence, then Stacey Abrams must be a genius, Ben Jealous, President of People For the American Way, a progressive social and political advocacy organization, recently suggested.
Therefore, he concluded, building off that metaphor, her political genius is just like spades, the card game that is so popular with Black folks.
The two longtime friends spoke virtually on Feb. 19 during a conversation facilitated by the University of Pennsylvania, where Jealous is a visiting scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Social Policy & Practice as well as the university’s law school.
The playful exchange between Jealous — who is also the former president of the NAACP — and Abrams — who has been widely credited for her role in first flipping Georgia blue and then later for Democrats’ victories in last month’s Senate runoff races — had a lot of truth to it.
Allow Jealous to explain:
“You’ve got a partner, and you have to be able to trust your partner, but you also have to be willing to sacrifice in order to win. . . Sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice a queen or king to an ace, but if that gets you closer to being able to play a spade against someone else’s face card, do it. Play to win,” she said. “My grandmother said, ‘Every card only wins once; the cards are what they are,’” she said, so there was no point in holding on and waiting around. “You have to watch the table; you’ve got to know what fell. I watch my partner, but I also watch the table so that I know what not to do, or what opportunity is coming up for me to take advantage of.”
Watch Jealous offer up his Spades analogy during his conversation with Abrams.
Jealous recently penned an op-ed for NewsOne that, in retrospect, revealed a glimpse of his spades analogy line of thinking when he accurately said the recent Senate runoff elections in Georgia were a game-changer for diversity in federal courts. Just like in November’s general election, Abrams was lauded for securing the Democratic Senate wins needed to help bring that aforementioned diversity to a federal bench replete with white men.
Using Jealous’ analogy, Abrams not only played to win in those elections, but she was able to do so effectively because, as it turned out, her own gubernatorial campaign in 2018 was, in retrospect, a sacrifice in itself that was needed to effect the kind of historic electoral change for others that she has achieved to resounding results.
Oh, and did we mention that the game of spades and Stacey Abrams are both immensely popular with Black people? That part of Jealous’ analogy doesn’t hurt, either.
You can read more about the conversation between Abrams and Jealous at Penn Today.
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Women’s History Month: Celebrating Black Women Pioneers And Their Many Historic Firsts
21 photos Launch gallery
1. Kamala Harris, first woman and Black woman Vice President of the United States
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2. Barbara Jordan, First Black Woman Elected Into Congress from the South
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3. Bianca Smith, MLB’s first Black woman coach
“I only saw women in the front office. I didn’t see women on the field, so it never occurred to me to be a coach until I actually got on the field myself and realized, ‘Okay this is something I can do.'”@RedSox coach Bianca Smith is ready to pave the way. pic.twitter.com/unnoZoAH4L
— MLB (@MLB) February 3, 2021
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4. Mae C. Jemison, First Black Woman in Space
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5. Amanda Gorman, the nation’s youngest inaugural poet
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6. Bessie Coleman, First Black Woman Pilot
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7. Mellody Hobson, first Black woman to chair Starbucks’ board
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8. Mary Jackson, First Black Woman to Work for NASA
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9. Meisha Ross Porter, first Black woman to be NYC Schools Chancellor
Source:NYC Dept. Of Education
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10. Hattie McDaniel, First Black Woman to Win an Academy Award
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11. Jennifer King, First Black Woman NFL Coach
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12. Alice Coachman, First Black Woman To Win an Olympic Gold Medal
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13. Oprah Winfrey, First Black Woman Billionaire
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14. Madam C.J. Walker, First Woman Millionaire In America
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15. Nia DaCosta, first Black woman to direct a Marvel movie
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16. Mariya Russell, First Black Woman Chef to Earn a Michelin Star
Meet Mariya Russell, the first Black woman to win a Michelin star in the guide’s 94-year history pic.twitter.com/ZYIq5KqmPL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 27, 2020
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17. Whoopi Goldberg, First Black Woman to Win EGOT (Academy Award, 1990), (Emmy, 2002 & 2009), (Grammy, 1985) and (Tony, 2002)
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18. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, First Black Woman to Become a Doctor of Medicine in the U.S.
This #BlackHistoryMonth we’re highlighting notable African-American public health figures. Meet Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American woman physician. She authored the “Book of Medical Discourses” containing medical advice for women & children. https://t.co/UeUNE1eVRL
— FairfaxCounty Health (@fairfaxhealth) February 26, 2020
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19. Serena Williams, First Black Woman to Win a Career Grand Slam in Tennis
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20. Loretta Lynch, First Black Woman to be Attorney General of the U.S.
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21. Stacey Abrams, First Black Woman to be a Major Party Nominee for State Governor
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Ben Jealous Compares Stacey Abrams’ Political Genius To A Game Of Spades: ‘Sacrifice In Order To Win’
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