Buckhead, Stacy, Atlanta discussed on TED Radio Hour

TED Radio Hour
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Visit the governor's mansion which is in buckhead really ritzy part of atlanta. We had to take the bus. My parents and i get off the bus. We walk across the street and as these cars arrived driving and kids from all over the state. We're sort of walking up the side of the driveway staying out of the cars and we get to the guard gate. The guard looks at me. It looks at my parents. He looks at the bus. That's pulling away. And he tells us we don't belong here he assumed we were. i guess. Visitors coming to view. The governor's mansion as tourists and my dad says no. No this is my daughter. Stacy she's one of the valedictorians but the guard didn't look at the list that he had he didn't accept the invitation. My mom had in her purse. He just kind of sneered at us and he said look. I told you don't belong here. luckily for me and unluckily for him. My parents are very insistent about our treatment in public spaces so Although my parents were injured we moved here because they were in training to become pastors. They were less than religious that day. My father was very insistent that the man list and let me in. But i don't really remember the event itself we got inside. I don't remember the event. I don't remember meeting the governor. I just remember this guy. This powerful guy standing in front of a guard gate in front of the governor's mansion telling me i don't belong there. I mean on the one hand that's incredibly sad and shameful that you don't actually remember the event itself you don't remember celebrating your incredible achievements on the other hand knowing who you are now. A lawyer prominent politician first african american woman to ever become the nominee for governor in the history of the us for a major party. You know you can't help but think that awful moment actually informed who you are impacted your life. That's absolutely true. It became part of the narrative. When i was running for governor in part because i needed people to understand that i understand that i wasn't raised with this notion that i could ever aspire to being governor of state. Let alone being the first black woman to do this. I never thought of myself necessarily as a change agent in that way but there is something very galling but also very motivating about some stranger telling you who you are and what you mean. When i ran for governor for me it was about saying look. I was told longtime ago. I didn't belong in this. And i've spent my life whether intentionally or not proving him wrong but it wasn't about him it wasn't about what he saw or didn't see me. It was about who i am. And who i intend to be and this is my state. This is my country. And i belong here as much as anybody else by wonder if you think in some ways there you were this amazing studen- clearly you learned a lot at school but in the flash of a moment in your life you learned something perhaps just as impactful things one is. That humiliation isn't permanent..

Coming up next