Ayanna Pressley

12 November 2018

The first black woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts

Ayanna Pressley by Susan Walsh
Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., listens during a news conference with members of the Progressive Caucus in Washington, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.
(Photo source: Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

After the interview, Pressley was asked about the role of identity politics in the race. Her reply, which she has often repeated on the campaign trail, is that it's a charge that only seems to be lobbed at women and people of color. “It’s right out of the GOP handbook,” she said. “Yes, I am black and a woman, and unapologetically proud to be both. But that is not the totality of my identity.”

Nicole Werbeck, ‘Nothing Was Off Limits’: Intimate Photos From Ayanna Pressley’s Campaign, NPR

Pressley holding out silver dollar
In the car headed to her next event, Pressley pulls an old silver dollar out of her pocket. “A gentleman just gave this to me and told me it brought him a lot of luck in his life and that he wanted to pass it on to me in the final stretch of our campaign,” she said.
(Photo source: Meredith Nierman/WGBH)
Pressley shaking hands with seated woman while others look on
Pressley greets a small group of residents at Leventhal House, a senior living center in Brighton.
(Photo source: Meredith Nierman/WGBH)

“Activists and agitators have brought us to this very moment,” Pressley told cheering supporters Tuesday night. “None of us ran to make history. We ran to make change … and change is on the way.”

“Can a congresswoman wear her hair in braids? Rock a black leather jacket?” she added — and the crowd roared.

Ayanna Pressley by Susan Walsh
Democrat Ayanna Pressley gives her victory speech at an election night party after being elected to represent Massachusetts’ 7th congressional district, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Boston.
(Photo source: Michael Dwyer/AP Photo)

From the outset, Pressley made clear that she meant serious business, telling voters before she sent Capuano packing that she viewed the race as “a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our democracy.”

William J. Kole, Pressley officially Massachusetts’ 1st black congresswoman, AP