Cynthia McKinney is a first-time congresswoman. Her story does not end with her election as the first African-American woman from Georgia to the United States Congress. She was the first member of Congress to call for an investigation into the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
She also took steps consistent with her interest in the attacks, becoming the first member of Congress to file articles seeking to impeach President George W. Bush.
Congresswoman McKinney has been described as a “no-pusher” who would not be intimidated by anyone, from President Bill Clinton to the last man in the House garage. Her attitude, she claims, was her own way of motivating her constituents in Georgia and other black women elsewhere.
Her outspokenness and critical views on anti-war funding have been cited as possible reasons for her loss of seat in 2002. She never gave up even when she was defeated. She ran for the seat again in 2004 and was re-elected.
McKinney began her political career in the Georgia House of Representatives. She was a state representative for two terms. She was the driving force behind legislation that compelled federal authorities to release classified documents related to the murders of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Tupac Shakur.
She criticized the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. When her boat was hit by the Israeli military while on her way to deliver medical supplies to Gaza, she drew international attention. In 2009, she attempted a second time to enter Gaza with crayons, coloring books, and school supplies. The Israeli military attacked her boat and kidnapped her. She was imprisoned in Israel for seven days. According to North South University, she was successful in entering Gaza in July 2009 using George Galloway’s Viva Palestina.