Stacey Abrams lands April cover of Marie Claire

Abrams continues to show us she didn't need a seat in public office to make real change

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Stacey Abrams sat down with Marie Claire for its April cover story and she did not hold back. The voting rights advocate candidly spoke about the Capitol insurrection, how she views her personal wins and her new favorite hobby outside of changing history.

“I’m certainly always dismayed by the level of treachery that we saw on [January 6], but I wouldn’t say that that is new,” said Abrams to journalist Ashley C. Ford for the cover.

Unlike many, Abrams was not surprised by the menacing riot that left five dead. She says it’s a reflection of history.

10th Anniversary Women In The World Summit
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 11: Founder of Fair Fight, Stacey Abrams speaks onstage at the 10th Anniversary Women In The World Summit – Day 2 at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

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“When I see the surprise, the aghast reaction, I think what people are reacting to is the immediacy of their interaction with this, but they forget about the years of conditioned exposure that so many more of us have lived with.”

“I grew up in the state of Mississippi, where the Confederate battle flag was the state flag,” she adds. “I moved to Georgia, where the Confederate battle flag was incorporated into the state flag, where you could not enter a bank or the state capitol without this waving notion of what you should expect inside. I don’t have the capacity for surprise at this.”

Abrams commanded headlines during the 2020 election when her campaigns for voting rights helped flipped Georgia blue in support of President-elect Joe Biden. But despite becoming a pillar in the fight against voter suppression, she doesn’t feel like she has won.

In fact, when asked directly if she feels like she’s won, her answer is simply, “no.”

Supporters Of Joe Biden Celebrate Across The Country, After Major Networks Project Him Winning The Presidency
ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 07: A supporter of Stacey Abrams holds a sign thanking her during a celebration of Joe Bidens projected presidential win at Freedom Park on November 7, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

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“Because there’s nothing permanent about the change that we’re making until people believe it’s a change they should defend and maintain. And so every election, every fight, you’ve got to remind people that they have the capacity to win, and you have to do it anew,” said Abrams.

She also wants the public to understand that as individuals we have power.

“One of the most successful gaslighting operations in American history has been the disinformation [campaign] about our power, and because so many pieces of our society have been weaponized against us we’ve also been conditioned to believe that weaponization is innate, that what they are doing is the right thing, and everything we’re asking for is a departure,” said Abrams.

When the Yale Law School graduate isn’t making boss moves on the political landscape, she is focused on something just as influential, love.

Abrams has written eight romance novels under the name Selena Montgomery. Three of her romance writing peers even came together to help raise funds for Georgia Democrats with a campaign called Romancing the Runoff fundraiser, which raised an impressive $400,000. 

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But her first thriller, While Justice Sleeps, is on the way and set to drop on May 11.

“Writing is cathartic, but it’s also demonstrative,” she tells the publication. “It is how I can tell about other parts of me and get to explore things and ideas that I’m interested in without having to create another life and find another 30 hours in a day.”

“It’s also how I can continue to connect.”

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