Stacey Abrams was a high school senior the first time she was invited to the Georgia governor’s mansion. It was for a ceremony honoring the state’s class valedictorians, and Abrams was her school’s top academic achiever. At the time, her family did not own a car, so Abrams and her parents rode the bus from their working-class suburb to the stately mansion in downtown Atlanta.
When they arrived, Abrams recalls a guard emerging from the security booth. Eyeing the bus, he told them: “This is a private event. You don’t belong here.” Never mind that her invitation was tucked into her mother’s handbag or that her name was second on the list of invitees.
A terse exchange ensued between her father and the guard, who grudgingly checked the guest list and let them in.
“The thing of it is,” Abrams said at a recent campaign stop in Atlanta, “I don’t remember meeting the…