Elizabeth Warren was the last of eight presidential candidates to take the stage at Texas Southern University last month when she was pressed for a solution to black women dying during childbirth at far higher rates than white women. The Massachusetts senator responded with what has become a campaign catchphrase: “So, I got a plan.” She proposed holding hospitals financially responsible for the disparity, imposing penalties on institutions that don’t act to prevent such deaths. “Doctors and nurses don’t hear African American women’s medical issues the same way that they hear the same things from white women,” Elizabeth Warren said. “We’ve got to change that, and we’ve got to do it fast because people’s lives are at stake.” By the time Warren left the stage at the “She the People” forum, thousands of black women in the audience were on their feet roaring cheers and applauding. The reaction eclipsed the response earlier in the day to Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey — the black candidates in the Democratic contest. It reflected the unlikely traction that Warren, a 69-year-old white woman who lives in tony Cambridge, Massachusetts, is gaining with black women who are debating whom to back in a historically diverse primary. “To have an ally — she’s a woman, but she’s not a black woman — who can speak intelligently and has thought about people who don’t look like you, that resonates,” said Roxy D. Hall Williamson, a 49-year-old who was in the
Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. King, a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among his many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Through his activism and inspirational speeches, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. He was assassinated in April 1968 and continues to be remembered as one of the most influential and inspirational African-American leaders in history.