It’s official: Kamala Harris is now the Vice President of the United States of America.
Harris is not only the first female candidate to ever hold the post, but she’s also the first Black woman and first South Asian woman to take the position.
Biden announced her nomination in August after a long anticipation of who he would choose as his running mate. At the time, he praised her as a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”
Writing for Harper’s BAZAAR‘s November issue, Senator Harris reflected on what making history means to her. “I hope that by being a ‘first,’ I inspire young people to pursue their dreams,” she explained. “The number of times I’ve heard the word ‘no’—or that something can’t be done—in my lifetime is too many to count. I’m honored to be considered a ‘first,’ but I always think about the people who came before and paved the way for me to get where I am today. From Rosa Parks to Shirley Chisholm to Congressman John Lewis, I stand on the shoulders of so many great men and women before me.”
Harris continued, “My message to the many women who will continue to break barriers and be ‘firsts’ in their fields is don’t give up, believe in yourself, and let your talent lead you. And surround yourself with good and supportive friends to keep you lifted up.”
When she accepted the Democratic nomination for VP over the summer, the California senator also paid tribute to trailblazing women in history for paving the way for her, including Mary Church Terrell, Mary McLeod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash, Constance Baker Motley, and Shirley Chisholm. She went on to honor her own mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, “another woman whose shoulders I stand on,” she said. While accepting her nomination, Harris also acknowledged how significant it was to be the first Black woman and woman of Indian descent to appear on a presidential ticket for any major political party.
Harris reacted to the historic news on Twitter and wrote, “This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.”
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