By the time she was 21, Mahogany, now 33, had built a regional reputation for her dancing and choreography skills, and frequently got calls from people who'd say "I hear you're the baddest thing on two legs in Savannah" and invite her to other states for gigs. She quickly accrued more money than she knew what to do with—though she says she was far from rich—but like 26% of people in this beautiful, Spanish-moss covered city, she grew up poor. And when people would say to her, you're lucky, you got out, she'd say, "It's not luck, I just made better choices." And that was that, and she was happy to be "out." But then, about five years ago, she said she woke up to a voice telling her she needed to do more. And though she's not religious, she decided to listen. Remembering that when she was growing up, she was hungriest on weekends, when she couldn't get a meal at school, she started a non-profit providing food to low-income kids in Savannah on weekends. Her org, Blessing in a Bookbag, is one of numerous small non-profits in the city working together to change the entrenched, elite-run system in this small city that seems impenetrable to outsiders, and hasn't changed much since, well, anyone can remember. But these young people are ever so slowly starting to get the ear of the powers that be by engaging them and listening and asking them to do the same.
Mahogany really dislikes Donald Trump, but isn't sure she'll vote for President, in part because, at the end of the day, she believes "America is more sexist than racist" (though she says it's plenty racist too), and thinks that if Obama couldn't get stuff through Congress, Hillary certainly won't. But in Savannah, you can find her every weekend standing outside a tent, even in 95 degree heat, and believing in and fighting for local change and progress. #SearchingForPurpleAmerica #election2016