Lucy McBath, a congresswoman from Georgia's sixth district, has called herself an "accidental activist" in the past. But while the event that led her to run for office was devastating and unexpected, the impact of her political career is undeniable. After losing her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, to gun violence in 2012, McBath has done everything in her power to ensure the unjust loss her family faced doesn't happen to others. She is one of the rising women in politics featured in And She Could Be Next, an Ava DuVernay-produced documentary series made by women filmmakers that explores "whether democracy itself can be preserved — and made stronger — by those most marginalized."
McBath's son was murdered by a white man, Michael Dunn, who confronted him about playing loud music in a gas station parking lot. Dunn fired 10 shots at Davis and his three friends, who were sitting in an SUV, killing Davis. Dunn was later found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole in 2014.
At the time of her son's death, McBath was working as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines. Because she and her husband were hardworking parents raising their kids in what they considered a safe neighborhood, McBath never imagined Davis would die from gun violence. "This was a cultural awakening even for me," she says in the documentary. "Because it doesn't matter where you live. It doesn't matter how you raised your children. None of these things matter because my son was still a young Black man."
"It's about helping people live and survive in this world, in this nation that doesn't always embrace all of us."
After the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting on Dec. 12, 2012, McBath was invited to speak at events for Moms Demand Action across the country, sharing her own experience. "I've learned how to organize, I've learned how to build movements," she explained. "I've even started going to legislators. That's why the work is so important to me. Because it's about helping people live and survive in this world, in this nation that doesn't always embrace all of us."
Now, McBath is determined to change the narrative around gun violence in the US, and that begins with initiating policies and amendments. "We gotta get in on the inside," she said. "There are not enough people on the inside that look like me."
Watch the first episode of this two-part documentary on PBS — and with us — on June 29. We'll be live tweeting along with some very special guests from And She Could Be Next, so follow us on Twitter and join the conversation.