“Black women and women of color have long been underrepresented in elected office and in November we have the opportunity to change that. Let’s get down to business,” said Senator Kamala Harris. tweeted in August, in response to a story about a record number of women of color running for the House and Senate this year.
Hours later, she was announced as Joe Biden’s vice presidential candidate.
Even before the November election, Harris has made history multiple times: the third female vice presidential candidate in a major party, the second black female candidate in history, and the first black woman in history in a major party presidential candidacy. On Saturday, four days after Election Day, Biden was projected to win the presidency, making Harris the first woman elected to one of the top two executive positions.
Harris follows the vice-president careers of Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin in 1984 and 2008, respectively. Of course, the first black candidate to win a major party nomination was former President Barack Obama. (Candidates such as Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, and Harris herself ran previously, but failed to become the party’s top candidate.)
In terms of being black and female, Harris is unique, and her selection comes in the middle of our national calculation on race.
the daughter of immigrants – her mother from India and her father from Jamaica – Harris was born in Oakland, California and in the past defined herself as simply “an American.” (She also makes history as the first Asian-American woman on a major party ticket.)
Representative Val Demings, who had also been shortlisted for the vice president position, said in a statement: “Seeing a black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith that in America there is a place for each person to succeed, without matter who they are or where they come from. “
In announcing Harris as his running mate, Biden called her “an intrepid fighter for the little one and one of the best public servants in the country.” Meanwhile, former President Obama said Biden “got this decision right.”
“Your own life story is one in which I and many others can see ourselves: a story that says that no matter where you come from, how you look, how you adore or who you love, there is a place for you here,” Obama wrote. “It’s a fundamentally American perspective, one that has lifted us out of the most difficult times.”
“This election is about much more than @JoeBiden or me. It is about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Harris tweeted Saturday morning. “Let us begin.”
The historic victory made fans rejoice. “For all the women who think you can’t do it, this is for you, for all the black and brunette girls who feel ignored, this is for you, for all the Americans who defend democracy, this is for you,” Loni Love tweeted.
See more reactions below.