The Fullwood sisters first hit the road for Obama’s South Carolina primary contest, renting a van at their own expense, driving from Charlotte to the small town of Kingstree, S.C., and doing everything from holding up signs to knocking on doors.
Brewer-Loudd, who is a circulation distribution manager for Dow Jones, did it all, too, she said, serving as precinct chair, putting door holders on doors about early voting, registering voters and phone-banking.
She’s been working on and off for Democratic candidates since then, including Anthony Foxx, Charlotte’s second African American mayor, and through a 2010 midterm Republican wave she said she saw coming.
Re-electing President Obama, “that’s going to be the big challenge here,” she said. “We worked really hard (in 2008) and the fact that we only won by 14,000 votes, it’s really scary. There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there among the president’s supporters, and there doesn’t have to be.”
All three women plan to be heavily involved in the campaign again.
Diatra Fullwood said that during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and afterward, “I’m there – wholeheartedly.” In her job as manager of the visitor’s information center at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, she will be greeting many of the 35,000 visitors expected for the convention, which Democrats hope will generate enthusiasm for the fall campaign.
Brewer-Loudd is working again as a precinct chair and much of what she hears gives her confidence.
As she campaigns, she said she meets “a lot of senior ladies who want to protect the president – they feel like he’s their baby, their son,” Brewer Loudd said. “Young black women feel pride, as well. We have an opportunity to stand up and be heard, to matter, to be counted, to feel like we have something to contribute.”
She added, “I’m proud of this family (The Obamas). They have good hearts, they’re raising their family, they’re raising their children — things black people have always done and have never gotten the credit for on a grand scale.”
But the women acknowledge it will be harder this time to lift the president over the top in the Tar Heel state.
“I think it’s going to be tight, no doubt about it,” Valaida Fullwood said of the 2012 campaign and election. “I think it’s going to be brutal. If you think it’s been ugly so far, it’s going to get uglier than we ever could have imagined or would hope. I’m just hopeful we can eke it out and keep North Carolina blue.”
Follow Mary on Twitter @mcurtisnc3