From extreme precariousness in the House of Representatives, Cori Bush, a life of struggle and rebirth

Cori Bush, during a demonstration against police violence after the death of George Floyd, June 12 in University City, Missouri.

Cori Bush is less well known than Kamala Harris, the first woman to be elected vice-president, but in her own way, this energetic nurse has also recently made American history. The elected Missouri, who won a seat in the House of Representatives, will be the first black woman to represent this southern state, with a slave past. This victory alone sums up one of the features of this electoral season.

“The popular and middle classes need representatives who resemble them and who have known the same ordeals. I am that person. »Extract from Cori Bush’s speech the day after his victory

Never before have so many black candidates stood in the line to impose their voices in politics; never had so many African-American voters made a difference in several states of the country. Symbol of this generation of anti-racist activists in the political field, Cori Bush also embodies the resilience of the women in her community, struck by social difficulties, disease and violence. At 44, this mother of two grown teenagers seems to have already led several lives.

Originally from Saint-Louis (Missouri), this locally elected girl could have lived a classic black middle-class existence. But a series of domestic violence, sexual abuse and illness drag her into extreme precariousness when she has just given birth to her second child. Forced to live for several months in her car, she eventually regained her footing, completed nursing studies and became a pastor.

On the front line against police violence

After the death of Michael Brown, a young African-American killed by a white policeman in 2014 in Ferguson – the city of the newly elected district -, the determination of Cori Bush imposes him at the head of the demonstrations which will ignite the city during several days. She becomes an active voice for the Black Lives Matter movement.

When George Floyd died in May 2020, she was found on the front lines during the spring and summer protests against police violence. On November 3, the day of the vote, the tireless activist went to the polls with her face covered with a mask in tribute to Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American paramedic killed in her bed by police in March of Louisville, Kentucky.

The day after her victory in the House of Representatives, in a speech full of emotion and swaying accents of preacher, the young woman with long hair summed up this life of struggle and rebirth.

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