MadameNoire Featured Video

‘Black Girls Rock!’ hosted By Taraji P. Henson
Featuring: Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 05 Aug 2017
Credit: Derrick Salters/

Today Maxine Waters, the no-nonsense California representative Black women affectionately refer to as auntie Maxine, turns 79. Though she’s served the state of California since 1991, it’s in the past couple of years that Rep. Waters has come to represent more than a Black female face — the most senior of 12 — serving in the United States Congress. Waters represents unapologetic authority, the kind Black women in positions of power are rarely allowed or encouraged to exercise and have been starved of examples of for years. She represents hope for the voices that don’t have her reach but whose needs she carries at the forefront of her political duty. And, most importantly, she represents possibility, the chance that one day there will be more than a dozen Maxine Waters calling the political shots; thus, changing the dynamic of our entire country for the better.

But in order for that to happen, we must carry the lessons Waters has taught us over the years and personify the messages she has taught us about being angry, unintimidated, and reclaiming our time. Here are the top lessons she’s imparted.

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