Power Women - O, The Oprah Magazine's Power List
20 remarkable visionaries who are flexing their muscles in business and finance, politics and justice, science and the arts.
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the September 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Political analyst, force of nature
Donna Brazile grew up in New Orleans and discovered campaigning at the age of 9, when she went door-to-door for a candidate who'd promised to build a playground in her neighborhood. Thirty-two years later, she became the first African-American woman to manage a major presidential campaign (Al Gore's, in 2000). Now 49, she teaches in the women's and gender studies program at Georgetown University and is a contributor to O magazine, CNN, NPR, and ABC News. We asked her to tell us about the many things she has aspired to over the years:
I came into this world anxious to be a part of it. I wanted to find my place at the table. I wanted to be successful. In high school, I wanted to be involved in everything that was happening: I wanted to join the Soul Sisters Club and write poetry and do athletics and student council. I wanted to use my big mouth, and my energy, and my intellect. And today I still want those things—and then some. I want to make a difference in presidential politics. I want to educate and inform. I want to connect to the next generation. One day I want us to put a woman in the White House. I want to write poetry—not like when I was young, about the gory details of growing up poor and black, but poetry that comes from the calming stream flowing in my soul. I want to practice nonviolence. I want to practice joy. I want to learn from my enemies, even if all I learn is not to be like them. I want to get the last word. I want to do a little bit of everything, and when I'm not stirring some pot somewhere or creating some drama, then I want to be alone in my garden.