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“Can a congresswoman wear her hair in braids, rock a black leather jacket and a bold red lip,” Ayanna Pressley asked the crowd – and the nation – during her impassioned victory speech. The answer is an irrefutable, “yes.”

On Tuesday, Pressley made history as the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. The 44-year-old shocked voters (and herself) in an upset victory against Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano during the primaries.

At the midterms, history was made across the States: a record-breaking number of women won Congress seats — including the first Native American and first Muslim women ever elected. The wins are a poignant illustration of the Democratic Party’s long overdue embrace of diversity.

In her speech, Pressley emphasized every woman of color had to create “seismic shifts” to break through the barriers that kept them from office. Change only comes after fierce work. Watch Pressley’s full speech below:

 

Top Image: Youtube

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Tessa is a puertorriqueña / Syrian gal interested in race, women, and the arts - more specifically, their intersections. Follow her on Instagram @tessa.sol and Twitter @tessa_solo. She lives in Brooklyn. 

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