By: Lily Caravela
History was made on January 5, 2021, when Reverend Raphael Warnock from Georgia, was elected as the first African-American Democratic Senator from a former Confederate state.
Warnock, along with Democrat Jon Ossof, had defeated Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in a celebratory win. The pair were sworn in on Wednesday, January 20th by Vice President Kamala Harris, shortly after the inauguration of newly elected President Joe Biden.
Reverend Rapeahal Warnock grew up in Kayton Homes public housing in Savannah with his eleven other siblings. His family was, “short on money, but long on faith, love, and humor”. Going to church every Sunday with his family and having a father who was a preacher, had inspired Warnock to become a reverend.
After attending Morehouse College, Warnock had earned a Ph.D. and was ordained in the ministry where he soon became the youngest pastor to serve at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Since Reverend Warnock grew up with very little money, he feels and knows what it’s like for the struggling families in Georgia. He had these people at heart as he went into the US Senate election with his main concerns being fighting for affordable healthcare, supporting the working class people, and making sure everyone has a voice.
JCHS teacher Karen McIntryre had a lot to say after being asked about the new victory. She stated, “Reverend Warnock’s historic win shows what can be accomplished when more citizens are voting and engaged. It is a nod to grassroots movements as Americans, like Stacey Abrams, work toward greater equity in politics, a push toward social justice, and a government that looks more like the people it represents. Warnock, as the first African American senator from Georgia, is significant demonstrating that the power to affect change in our democracy lives in the ballot box”.
After Warnock and Ossoff arrive in the office, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate, with the tie-breaking vote going to Vice President Kamala Harris. Democrats will soon have control over both the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade.
Warnock will be the eleventh black senator in the United States. JCHS history teacher, Suzanne Broffman had spoken about the events, stating, “Reverend Warnock’s election is a great victory in the long history of the Civil Rights movement. His victory is doubly significant because of Georgia’s long history of voter suppression. It took a heroic campaign to increase voter turnout, led by Stacey Adams, to make this historic event possible.”
“We were told that we column twin this election. But tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible”, Warnock had exclaimed in his victory speech. Warnock had hoped that “some young person” would be inspired by his success in making history. His hopes will soon turn into reality, as this history is just the beginning of change in America.