The Root 100 - The Most Influential African Americans in 2020 - 10: Cori Bush

Oleg Dyachenko
·1 min read

Cori Bush first leaped to national attention when she was featured in the Netflix documentary _Knock Down the House_ as an everyday Black woman doing extraordinary things: working as a registered nurse, an ordained pastor and a mother while also running for office in the congressional district that includes St. Louis and Ferguson, Mo., where Mike Brown was killed Though Bush lost in her ambitious attempt to beat the Democrat incumbent, William Lacy Clay, in both 2016 and 2018-clearly not an easy feat, given that the Clay family had held the seat since 1969-in 2020, voters gave her the dynasty-ending win, putting her on the verge of becoming Missouri's first Black congresswoman. Her promise to fight for real change in the lives of people in her community-people like her-through policies like "Medicare for All" and a $15 minimum wage is now resonating more than ever. It doesn't hurt that Bush herself was a protester in Ferguson during the 2014 uprisings and makes no bones about what is driving her to representative politics even as her star rises higher. "As long as I'm bringing home deliverables to my community...as long as there are little Black girls and all kinds of other children coming up to me saying, 'I wanna do that'...that's what it's about," the mother of two said after making headlines with her primary victory.