Guided by a deep love for the South, LaTosha Brown charts a new path for black voters across U.S.
Even when she was a little girl in rural Alabama, Black Voters Matter Fund co-founder LaTosha Brown had giant ideas about power. “My whole life, I wanted to be a part of change,” said Brown, who co-founded the fund in 2016 with fellow political strategist Cliff Albright. “I wanted to use my gifts and skills to help people tap into their own sense of power. I’ve always been a natural organizer.”
Brown and Albright have one overarching goal with the Black Voters Matter Fund: to invest in long-term power-building in black Southern communities. They are intentional about moving resources into these communities so black people have increased capacity to build their own political infrastructure and set agendas in the best interests of black people, independent of candidates or political parties.
Brown’s first memory of standing firm in her own power was when she was 6 years old. She’d been an avid reader since the age of four. During the first week of first grade, her teacher, a white woman (ironically) named Miss White, took out a book. Brown excitedly informed the teacher she could read the book. The teacher completely dismissed her and told her plainly that she could not read. Brown refused to let it go. She insisted again and again that she could.
“She never gave me the chance to show her I could read,” Brown said. “It was a big deal to me because I am from the Deep South. You don’t talk back to adults. That is not what you do, at all, particularly with people of authority. It wasn’t in my upbringing that I would challenge an adult. But I was really adamant. I was like, ‘She is wrong. I can read.’”