First week of Black History Month: Stacey Abrams, BLM nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Because of her role in advancing the cause of racial justice in the U.S. and around the world, Stacey Abrams has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. | Butch Dill/AP

It seems more than fitting that in the first week of Black History Month Stacey Abrams has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

Abrams, whose on-the-ground work is credited with boosting voter turnout during the 2020 elections, helping then-presidential candidate Joe Biden secure an historic win in Georgia, was nominated by Lars Haltbrekken, a Socialist elected to Norway’s Parliament.

“Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights,” Haltbrekken said. “Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society.

Also nominated for the prestigious prize was the Black Lives Matter movement which has spurred people from all parts of the globe to fight against racial injustice and police brutality.

Black Lives Matter called many inspiring marches and demonstrations across the nation this year and has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. | Charlie Riedel/AP

In a nomination letter, Peter Eide, another member of the Storting, Norway’s Parliament, wrote that he had nominated the movement “for their struggle against racism and racially motivated violence.”

He added: “BLM’s call for systemic change has spread around the world, forcing other countries to grapple with racism within their societies.”

Black Lives Matter became a national rallying cry back in 2003 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, a former police officer, and continued fighting following the death of George Floyd, 46, at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020.

“People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We’re only getting started,” tweeted BLM, Friday, Jan. 30 after hearing about their nomination.

“For the Nobel Prize Committee, this is not unusual to link a fight for (racial) justice, to link that with peace,” Eide said and noted that the Nobel committee has awarded the peace prize to antiracist South Africans, twice—Albert Luthuli in 1960 and Nelson Mandela in 1993. “There will be no peace without justice.”

Following a flood of hateful emails from some in the United States, Eide made clear his nomination was “not a comment on domestic American politics.”

“If we go 50 years back, those arguments also came up when Dr. Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 – the same arguments,” he said.

Other candidates this year include the World Health Organization and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg; as well as Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” about the Vietnam War, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, and WikiLeaks.

The 2021 Nobel laureate will be announced in October.


Al Neal
Al Neal

Award winning journalist Al Neal is PW associate editor for labor and politics. He is also the chief photographer for People's World. He is a member of the Chicago News Guild, Society of Professional Journalists, Professional Photographers of America, National Sports Media Association, and The Ernest Brooks Foundation.