The revered voting rights activist from Georgia, Stacy Abrams, was nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on the first day of Black History Month for her activism that led to a nonviolent change in the recent US elections.
Norwegian lawmaker, Lars Haltbrekken, who nominated Abrams likened her to Martin Luther King Jr as they both fought for equality and civil rights.
“Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights,” said Haltbrekken, a Socialist Party member of Norway’s parliament, as reported by Reuters. King, a Baptist minister who became known as one of the greatest civil rights leaders won the Nobel prize in 1964. To date, he is one of the most popular laureates.
“Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society.”
Politics experts believe Abrams’ campaign to have as many Black people registered as possible in Georgia encourgaed voter turnout and played an instrumental role in Biden’s win because for the first time in a long time, the Peach State turned blue. Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock also won the U.S. Senate seats in the state, the first time Democrats have won in 20 years.
Through her voting-rights organization Fair Fight, Abrabs registered tens of thousands of Georgia voters and raised about $100 million to support candidates.
This nomination does not mean the voter-activist has received an endorsement from the Nobel committee in Oslo. She is among the many other nominees whose names can be put up by thousands of people including members of parliament, lecturers, and former laureates for the prize in any given year.
Other nominees so far include the Black Lives Matter movement which uses its platform to call for systemic change around the world especially in America, was nominated by Norwegian MP Petter Eide.
Eide, the former secretary-general of the Norwegian branch of Amnesty International, said the movement has become bigger than it was intended for. He said it is now a global call that has forced many countries to access their systems amid racism and inequality.
The movement’s work like that of Abrams was also likened to the works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because of his “his non-violent struggle for civil rights for the Afro-American population,” according to the Nobel Prize website.
The BLM movement is essentially rehashing the talking points of the Civil Rights Era and demanding a renegotiation of the social contract upon which American democracy has claimed moral legitimacy since Reconstruction. But what is different is that the attitude of the movement also foreshadows what James Baldwin would call The Fire Next Time.
According to Eide, the main reason for his nomination is that he believes that Black Lives Matter is the strongest force or global movement that is committed to fighting racial injustice. The movement’s organizers could not agree more.
“We hold the largest social movement in global history,” the Black Lives Matter Global Network wrote in a Twitter post after the nomination on Friday.
“Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We’re only getting started.”