All Black History Month long, Cheddar News is highlighting industry trailblazers that continue to carve their own paths and set trends across a number of disciplines.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D - MA) joined Cheddar News to talk about her experience being the first Black woman elected to Congress from the state of Massachusetts. She noted that being the first is a privilege but she recognizes that it also comes with a host of responsibilities.
"I have twice now broken concrete ceilings but certainly that did not happen just by my own sheer strength. It was about timing and grace and hard work but also many who came before who blazed a trail. And I don't just mean those who ran for office and won, I mean those who ran and lost. They made the road a little bit easier," she told Cheddar News.
Pressley was also the first Black woman to serve on the Boston City Council.
When it comes to battling adversity in politics, she said staying the course is key and not losing sight of the goal you set out to accomplish is how she overcame trying times. Pressley also noted that by not chasing power, position, or prestige and staying committed to having an impact on Black and other marginalized people, she was able to navigate her political ascension more easily.
"I'm someone who is very fortunate because I had a clarity of purpose very early in my life, probably since the age of 10 and I credit my mother for that. A parent is a child's first teacher and I had an extraordinary one -- in both my mother and my father," she said.