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How a Brooklyn Sisterhood of Black Women Became National Power Brokers

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“Everyone desires the Black vote,” Ms. Henderson-Rivers mentioned, “however they nonetheless aren’t open to listening to the people who find themselves finest at messaging the Black neighborhood.”

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Through the years, the ladies’s private relationships, shared disappointments, struggles and triumphs have created a camaraderie that has carried over to the skilled. And with a Black girl quickly to be vp, the temper feels totally different from different achievements, even when a Black man was within the White Home.

“This second shouldn’t be misplaced on us who’ve been combating for a seat on the desk,” mentioned Juanita Scarlett, a associate on the lobbying agency Bolton-St. Johns and a press secretary for Eliot Spitzer when he was state lawyer basic. “When our group began, our objective was to ensure we had extra voices on the desk, and now it’s occurring.”

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This summer time, Ms. Harris selected Karine Jean-Pierre, a Haitian-American girl who had been a senior adviser to Mr. Biden, as her chief of workers. Now Ms. Jean-Pierre is on the shortlist to be the first Black woman to serve as White House press secretary, as is Symone Sanders, one other senior Biden adviser. On Monday, Mr. Biden picked Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who’s Black, because the ambassador to the United Nations. With the place being restored to cabinet-level standing, she would serve on the Nationwide Safety Council.

When Black girls are in seen positions of energy, it sends a powerful sign, Ms. Henderson-Rivers mentioned. Whereas some within the sisterhood say they’re listening to from the Biden administration, many are being recruited by candidates in New York Metropolis’s 2021 mayoral race. Lupé Todd-Medina is the spokeswoman for Raymond J. McGuire, a former Wall Road government and mayoral candidate who’s Black; Ms. Henderson-Rivers is a senior adviser for the marketing campaign.

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Over the past mayoral election cycle, the ladies mentioned they obtained calls from second-tier candidates or solely after white consultants had turned a candidate down. Ms. Henderson-Rivers’s agency started getting calls months sooner than previous election cycles, she mentioned, including that she had just lately invested in additional workplace area.

“It’s the primary time I’ve been this busy this far out, and I believe it’s as a result of the price of Black girls is lastly being acknowledged,” she mentioned.

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