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Wes Moore made Black gubernatorial history. But a glass ceiling remains.

Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore is just the third Black person to win a gubernatorial race. The other two were also men.


Democrat Wes Moore earned a historic victory on Tuesday, becoming Maryland’s first Black governor-elect and the third Black person elected governor in U.S. history. 

I explained a bit about Moore’s backstory, immortalized in his bestselling memoir "The Other Wes Moore," while live-blogging the election results on Tuesday.

Our own Joy Reid interviewed Moore during Wednesday’s special election coverage to discuss his history-making moment and what he hopes to accomplish while in office.

Moore’s victory was in contrast to the fate of Black women running for governor this year, which should remind us of the particular hurdles Black women continue to face in becoming their state's top executive. Six Black women ran for governor this year, according to a report out of the American University's Women and Politics Institute. Of that group, two won their party’s nomination: Democrats Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Deidre DeJear of Iowa. 

In 2018, Abrams became the first Black woman to win a major party’s nomination for governor. 

Since then, I’ve always appreciated her focus in spite of racialized, gendered attacks meant to rock her.  

I’ve adored her expression of proud, Black womanhood. She doesn’t diminish herself before anyone. She serves — greatly — at her own leisure. And she states clearly her wants and wishes. 

These positive attributes can be and often are weaponized against her in a country that's never shown widespread, multiracial support for Black female leaders.   

“My being a black woman is not a deficit. It is a strength,” Abrams said in a 2017 interview with Cosmopolitan magazine. “Because I could not be where I am had I not overcome so many other barriers. Which means you know I’m relentless, you know I’m persistent, and you know I’m smart.”

Moore broke barriers on Tuesday. For Black women seeking the governorship, the glass ceiling remains. For now.