I knew that I was going to get an opportunity to get up close and personal with my aunt (in my head) Maxine Waters. But, I had no idea just how close and personal I was about to get.
The feisty California congresswoman, who is known around the world for reclaiming her time and fearlessly taking on President Donald Trump, was one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Summit 21 in Atlanta, GA, and boy did she deliver.
Waters, who is a hit among millennials due to her fearlessness, drop-the-mic boss moves and use of social media, is affectionately known among many black women as Auntie Maxine.
She recently spoke in front of 1,500 conference attendees, urging them to not pay special attention to the candidates offering to run for president. She cautioned them not to get caught up in how a candidate looks, but rather what he or she brings to the table.
Waters Urges Black Women To Choose Wisely
Waters wanted the black women in the room to know that any candidate who approaches them for a vote should be properly grilled to see if they are fit to represent them and should also have people on their team who look like them.
She urged black women to challenge their elected officials to advocate for rent stabilization (rent control).
She said traditionally, financial institutions have looked unfavorably upon millennials who sometimes have two or three jobs. She said, the banks view that as being unstable. But, the reality is, many millennials have been forced to juggle multiple jobs in order to get by because they are not earning what they should be earning.
The outspoken congresswoman said the time has come for those institutions to create new criteria for millennials.
During the question and answer segment, I stood up, introduced myself, told her I was from The Bahamas and that my mother loves her. I later asked her which democratic candidate she’s identified as someone who could really go all the way in the presidential election.
Before she answered, she gave the biggest shout out to The Bahamas, noting that she has many friends here and often comes down for the Junkanoo parade.
While she didn’t give a specific answer, she noted that Senator Kamala Harris has some incredible strong point, as does Senator Cory Booker.
How I Got That Photo With Waters
Following her interview, my friend and I, along with several other women, tried to get a photo backstage with her, but her security team blocked us, so we left.
About 30 minutes later while I was downstairs shopping in the vendor section, here comes this petite powerhouse walking towards me with cameras in tow. It was Waters, along with her husband, former US Ambassador to The Bahamas, Sidney Williams and their grandson.
She had the biggest smile on her face and was walking towards me with outstretched arms. She said, “I was looking for you, Miss Bahamas.” When she said that, I could not contain myself. I swear, I wanted to cry and I never get excited about any celebrity. It’s just that my mother loves her so much so I felt proud that I got the opportunity to get up close and personal with her.
The photos of me are so unflattering, but I don’t care. I was just happy to have a photo with Auntie Maxine.
I learned so much from her that day. It felt good to be in her company and see the genuine look on her face when she addressed a group of younger, black women.