Voter suppression has plagued America since its inception, and so has the issue of identity--who is really American and what that means. When tied together, as they are in our modern politics, citizens are harmed in overt, subtle, and even personal ways. Stacey Abrams experienced the effects firsthand, running one of the most unconventional races in modern politics as the Democratic nominee for the governorship in Georgia and the first black woman major party nominee in American history.
... not a political memoir or a long-form résumé; rather, it is a striking manifesto, a stirring indictment and a straightforward road map to victory ... Every good politician is a storyteller, and Abrams is a novelist with several titles under her belt. She portrays her constituents and their concerns in such a way that they feel more actual than symbolic, more individual than indicative. When she turns her gaze onto her family, her narrative gifts are in full flower. To illustrate the emotional and psychological effects of voter suppression, she draws a vivid, affectionate and insightful portrait of her grandparents, working-class Mississippians ... She is confident in her ideas, yet she resists the formation of a cult of personality around herself. She shares her experience not to solicit laurels, but to start a movement ... With refreshing transparency and candor, Stacey Abrams never conceals her ambition and dedication to transforming the system from within. As our democracy faces unprecedented peril, her time is now.
The tensions between patience and urgency, between fear and resolve, between the promise of someday and the demands of right now, are at the heart of Our Time Is Now. Abrams covers plenty of territory — identity politics, voting rights, and the frustrations and revelations of her gubernatorial race — but above all, she writes about the grinding work required to make real the compact of democratic participation ... more than just another campaign book. Despite the immediacy of her title, Abrams also takes the long view ... These are not the priorities of someone fixated on her short-term political prospects, no matter how brightly such ambitions may burn.
Stacey Abrams has a different explanation for the lack of racial progress in America: voter suppression ... Ms. Abrams believes, if I may put her argument in my own words, that liberal orthodoxy on race would have fulfilled all its promises, but Republicans stopped it and reversed decades of progress by making it more difficult for blacks and other minorities to vote ... Her words are strong, her arguments weak. She inveighs, for instance, against voter 'purges,' the removal from voter lists of names of people who haven’t voted in recent elections, claiming that these are undertaken to hassle minority voters. But state officials have a duty to remove from the rolls the names of people who’ve died or moved away.