Ayanna Pressley on Tuesday night officially became the first Black women to represent Massachusetts in Congress after officials confirmed her inevitable victory. The Democrat ran unchallenged in the general election after she unseated the incumbent, 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano, in a seemingly improbable upset that was all part of a larger “Blue wave” of Black women candidates winning primaries across the country.
Pressley, who was set to take over the Seventh Congressional District, told NewsOne shortly before her landmark victory in September that her years serving on the Boston City Council as its first African-American woman prepared her for this moment. She was especially nonplussed by how the Democratic Party hadn’t been rallying around her.
“I was not surprised, mostly because I knew what I was embarking upon, that this would likely be a lonely, uphill, and bruising journey,” Pressley said at the time. “We’re doing something disruptive, challenging conventional wisdom, narratives and norms about who has a right to run, when you can run, and whether or not you can win.”
Pressley was now on the precipice of stepping into the same congressional seat once occupied by John F. Kennedy ahead of his run for president in the 1960s.
Providing some much needed political perspective in the era of Donald Trump, Pressley told the New York Times that she was cautiously optimistic for the future.
“With our rights under assault, with our freedoms under siege, it’s not just good enough to see the Democrats back in power, but it matters who those Democrats are,” she said. “Change isn’t waiting any longer. We have arrived, change is coming and the future belongs to all of us.”