Black women elected in Clayton County hold historic photo shoot

photos and story by Robin Kemp

UPDATE 4:04 p.m.: Clayton County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Deetra Poindexter, who was elected November 3 with 94,000 votes, added to list; total updated to 41

Clayton County has more African-American women elected to public office than any other county in the United States.

On Saturday, March 6, most of Clayton County’s 41 Black female elected officials turned out for a historic photo shoot at the old courthouse in downtown Jonesboro.

“Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.”

Audre Lorde

Forrest Burse, a longtime photographer in the Southern Crescent who has shot the Trumpet Awards and many other events, and State Rep. Rhonda Burnough, State Rep. Sandra Scott, and State Sen. Valencia Seay coordinated the shoot.

“This is our time, this is our season!” Scott said. “As a strong Black woman standing on the shoulders of my mother and grandmothers, it is time for me to take my place in history. As I stand in the gap for my people, I work to create meaningful legislation that will have a positive impact for them. Being a Black woman in politics is beautiful when you keep your people informed and are not afraid to stand and fight for what is right. I stand unapologetically for loving and taking care of my people. Stay focused and stay woke – we are just getting started!”

Longtime Gold Dome denizen Seay said, “I answered the call to serve almost 30 years ago. I have continuously served the people who asked me to represent them. My service started with the Clayton County Board of Education, Georgia House of Representatives and currently in the Georgia Senate.”

Burnough said she’s carrying on her mother’s legacy: “Following in the footsteps of my mother who served two terms with the Detroit Board of Education, I decided to run for office when I realized that my community was not being represented. It has been an honor to serve Clayton County, first as an educator and now as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives for District 77. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I look forward to being surrounded by amazing women who are committed to bettering our communities. I also look forward to being a part of this photo, which represents Clayton County history.”

These are the Black women elected to serve Clayton County at the local, county, state, and federal levels, as of 2021:

The Clayton Crescent was there, along with other local media, and presents these photos of the shoot as it happened:

All photos © 2021 Robin Kemp/claytoncrescent.org. E-mail for permissions.