Margaret Doris, reporting for Esquire at the DNC:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stella Adams came to the Democratic convention so full of hope that she’d sprinkled her face with red, white, and blue stars, swabbed on blue-glitter eye shadow, and topped it all off with a stars-and-streamers USA tiara. But after another in a stream of “surprise” delegate visits here from Michelle Obama on Thursday morning, this one to the Women’s Caucus, the alternate delegate from North Carolina found herself fighting back tears.
“We worked so hard to build a just, moral society,” Adams said, after the First Lady reminded the delegates and guests that the election was not just about issues, but “how we want our democracy to function for decades.”
Michelle Obama’s words were a grim foreshadowing of a future that Adams, a fair-housing advocate from Durham, had already begun to fear. “And I’m going to live to see it — see it go back,” she worried.
Adams says it’s hard to motivate young women to understand what’s at stake in this election. “I’m 53. I was a kid when we got these rights,” like Title IX and the right to contraceptives and abortion. “I grew up seeing women not allowed full participation in American life. My daughter is 28. My nieces are 17, 15, 16. They have never known when girls had to play half-court ball because it was thought women were too fragile to play otherwise.” And as young black women, the segregated world of their grandmothers seems to be the stuff of the Brothers Grimm….
“I’ve really been motivated… to protect my daughter’s future,” Adams said, with a hint of new resolve in her voice. Her daughter, Danielle, a graduate student at Appalachian State University, is also a North Carolina delegate. “We will win this election, or we will lose our future.”
I’m 56, and I fully endorse this message.