Lauren Underwood makes history as youngest Black woman elected to Congress

Lauren Underwood and Tracelyn Hairston appear at the Grand Opening of The David Yurman Boutique At CityCenter DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for David Yurman)

Lauren Underwood, 32, is taking her #BlackGirlMagic to Congress after her history-making victory over her four-term GOP opponent, Rep. Randy Hultgren, in last week’s midterm elections.

Underwood, the winner in Illinois’ 14th congressional district, says her she was triumphant because “the voters were interested in a new generation of leadership.”

As the youngest Black woman elected to Congress, according to congressional records, Underwood cited Illinois first Black female senator, Carol Moseley Braun, as one of the people she looked up to as a young girl growing up in Naperville.

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“I felt like she was mine,” Underwood said as she thanked volunteers at her campaign headquarters the day after the election, the Chicago Tribune reports. “She was on TV every day. I knew that she was from my state and she represented me. We also had Oprah Winfrey, and I felt like she was mine. And she came on twice a day, every day, and she filmed her show an hour away. And I felt like, if they can be the two most powerful black women in the world — when I was in elementary school, that’s probably true — I could do whatever I wanted. And I think what’s happened this year is that women across the country have seen that there’s a way to step forward and lead and that there are millions ready to support them.”

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As reported by CNN, Underwood said her district had the “raw material to be successful.”

“We knew that the seeds were planted we just had to cultivate them so that they would grow and sprout,” he added.

Underwood told campaign volunteers, “I’m ready to get to work. My team is thinking of ways that we can be back on the road in every community to figure out how to pull together this agenda so that when he gets sworn in on Jan. 3, we are ready to be that voice. … This is not some kind of one-sided mission. This is all of us, together.”

According to congressional records, forty-one black women have served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.