UPDATED: 11:37 p.m. ET —
Her rebuttal follows below.
Black History Month wouldn’t be Black History Month without, well, Black history. And that’s precisely what will be made — again — following President Donald Trump‘s annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night. That’s when freshman Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley was expected to deliver a rebuttal to the president’s address. Doing so will make Pressley the third Black woman in two years to respond to Trump’s State of the Union in an official political capacity.
Stacey Abrams delivered a strong response against Trump’s address on behalf of the Democratic Party. And while Pressley’s rebuttal will be on behalf of the Working Families Party instead of the Democratic Party, her response is still just as important, she told CNN in a recent interview.
“What I intend to speak to is not the strength of our union, per se, but the strength of our movement,” Pressley said. “This is really a love letter to the activists and the foot soldiers who have made the victories possible and who will continue to make victories possible, to really champion and elevate and advance working families.”
The Working Families Party, like Pressley, has endorsed Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president. Its choice of Pressley underscored the importance that Black women, long seen as the backbone of the party, were playing in the election. It was also an indication that much like Democrats, the Working Families Party selected a Black woman to help save the Democratic Party.
But if people think Pressley’s rebuttal will simply be a stumping speech for Warren, the national director of the Working Families Party wants them to think again (or at least differently).
“This message is for the entire country, not just for folks who identify as progressive or even folks who even identify as Warren supporters,” Maurice Mitchell said. “What we’re talking about is a movement that is bigger than any one candidate. But a movement that surely includes Senator Warren.”
Pressley is the second straight Black woman The Working Families Party has tapped to deliver its rebuttal to Trump’s State of the Union address. Last year the honor went to Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards. The Democratic Party, however, has opted for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a white woman, to deliver its rebuttal to Trump Tuesday night.
Pressley’s response was expected immediately following Trump’s State of the Union address, which begins at 9 p.m. ET, and can be viewed via the Working Families Party’s Facebook page or by clicking here.