Celebrating A Historic Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris
When the networks called the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, images filled the screen of people literally dancing in the streets. It was especially moving to hear the excitement in the voices of girls and young women who understand in their hearts how much representation matters.
In this CNN story about how women in politics are reacting to the election of the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talked about growing up being told that women were “too emotional” and that the country would never elect a Black president. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” she says.
Kamala Harris has a special connection to NOW, as she has often spoken about the late Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress and one of the original founders of NOW who received NOW’s first Presidential endorsement. “I stand, as so many of us do, on her shoulders,” Kamala Harris says in this video.
It was inspiring to see Kamala Harris take the stage on Saturday night dressed in white in tribute to women’s suffrage. She paid tribute to the women, particularly the Black women, who mentored, inspired and taught her.
“Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been,” she said in her speech.
As the first woman Vice President, and as a feminist woman of color, Kamala Harris brings a perspective that has not only been unfamiliar to high office—for much of our history it has been unwelcome.
But this country urgently needs the experiences and skills that Kamala Harris will bring to the White House. Here’s a good overview from Politico of ways a Vice President Harris might bring about change.
And here’s the perspective of three writers on what Kamala Harris means to them. “It has taken centuries of pain, struggle and joy to get to this accomplishment,” says Bettina Love, “but many Black women today are smiling under our masks.”
I hope you’re smiling too.