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Two Seminoles help lead Florida March for Black Women in Miami

MIAMI — The results of the Nov. 6 midterm election produced a slew of historic results.

Tomasina Chupco speaks at the Florida March for Black Women in Miami. (Photo Damon Scott)

To start, two Native American women won seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Deb Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, and Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation from Kansas, won their races and are the first Native American women to serve in the U.S. Congress.

In Florida, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum ran a historic race against former Congressman Ron DeSantis, and fell just short of becoming the first African American governor of the state. And in Georgia, like Gillum, Stacey Abrams narrowly lost her bid to become the country’s first female African American governor, running an incredibly hard fought contest.

Many Seminoles took note of these candidates and were engaged and involved in the midterms through voting and various forms of activism.

Seminole Tribal members Kellie Tigertail and Tomasina Chupco were two of the more active members leading up to Election Day. They were front and center Nov. 3 at a gathering in Little Haiti in Miami to help turn out the vote before the election.

Tigertail was one of the staff organizers for the Florida March for Black Women, an activist group that staged events not only in Miami, but in Broward, Orlando, Jacksonville and Clearwater on Nov. 3.

Chupco, who is a mixed-race Seminole, was one of several speakers who helped to motivate a large crowd at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Chupco talked about the importance of voting and how proud she is to be a Tribal member.

The group marched to the Lemon City Branch Library about a half mile away to encourage those who had not yet voted. (Many Florida residents chose to cast their ballot at early voting cites before Election Day).

“We join together as Black Women and girls … undocumented, trans, hood, educated, young, old, millennials, survivors, trying to make a way,” event organizers said in a statement.

“[On Nov. 3] we’ll make the state shake. Black women and girls are, and have been, forces for change around the world. We have proven our voices impact elections,” the statement continued.

After returning from the early voting site at the library, an after party took place at the Cultural Center. There was food, music by DJ Spinelli, and speeches from Shariece Wright of the Florida Immigration Coalition; Laura Pierre, immigration and economic justice activist; members of Power U; and Queen Yonsada.

Kellie Tigertail, center, serves as one of the organizers of the Florida March for Black Women on Nov. 3 in Miami. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

 

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Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at damonscott@semtribe.com.

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