51% Show #1304

Jul 18, 2014

A co-author of a report on black women in U.S. politics says the upshot is there is much opportunity and much work to be done. On this week’s 51%, we’ll also define kitchen space south of the border. And then we’ll hear from an essayist about the spin on muffin tops – outside the kitchen.

Higher Heights and the Center for American Women in Politics have released a report entitled, "The Status of Black Women in American Politics". The report provides a historical outline of black women’s struggle for political representation and discusses the current landscape of political leadership for black women across the country as well as their growing political influence. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of black women in politics and government. The report notes that black women are 7.4 percent of the U.S. population and 7.8 percent of the electorate. However, there are only 14 black women in Congress, two black women in statewide elected executive office, 241 black women in state legislatures, and 26 black women mayors in cities with populations exceeding 30,000.  Kimberly Peeler-Allen is a fundraising consultant and co-founder of New York City-based Higher Heights for America. I spoke with her about the report.  

In 2010, Peeler-Allen was named to the Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 list as well as one of The Feminist Press’ 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism.

Credit Maria Elisa Christie / Courtesy of University of Texas Press

We now turn from women populating the ballots, to populating a space not just for eating. Before Mexico suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the Round of 16 in in the World Cup in June, many of the country’s passionate soccer fans partook not only in cheering on their team, but in enjoying traditional cuisine. And Lilia Fuquen reports that perhaps the strongest pillar of Mexican community is the women who gather to cook traditional foods.  

Writer Dr. Jeri Burns tops off this week’s show with her view on wor choice. It’s all in how we spin it. 

Dr. Jeri Burns is a storyteller, writer, and educator living in New York's Hudson Valley. You can find her at www.storycrafters.com.

And that’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance.  Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.