RASHIDA TLAIB: A Symbol and Champion for Detroit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 2018, Rashida Tlaib made history by becoming the first Palestinian American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Although much is made about Tlaib being the first Palestinian American woman elected to Congress, what is often understated in these accounts is she campaigned and won in a majority Black district against formidable Black candidates. Arab Americans and Muslims comprised a small minority of the district population. In 2019, she is one of two non-Blacks to represent such a majority Black district. This chapter examines her rise to power. How did she win in a majority Black district? To what extent were Arab Americans, Muslims, and women symbolically empowered by her 2018 campaign for Congress? This chapter also goes beyond symbolic empowerment and explores how she represents her diverse constituent interests in Congress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHistoric Firsts in U.S. Elections
Subtitle of host publicationTrailblazing Candidates in Gubernatorial, Congressional, and Mayoral Campaigns
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781000570458
ISBN (Print)9781032101569
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Evelyn M. Simien, individual chapters, the contributors.


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