A Black woman is our Vice President. Let me repeat, a Black woman is our Vice President.
Regardless of your political affiliations, you have to acknowledge the fact that Kamala Harris has made history. There has been only one female major party presidential nominee in U.S. history and that was Hillary Clinton in 2016. And aside from Kamala, there have been three female major party vice presidential nominees: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, Republican Sarah Palin in 2008.
This inauguration is going to change the possibilities for every Black and brown girl in America.
I remember when I had my daughter last year; as a new mom (or really any mom) you think about what your child will grow up to be. What will they be like? What will their personalities be? What career will they get involved in? I’ve always dreamt big for myself and my children, but there’s also a faint thought that they probably won’t be Vice President. But now, with the presence of Madam Vice President Kamala making it into the White House, that faint thought can be completely diminished.
Just as she said in her first speech as Vice President-elect, young children should “dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not simply because they’re never seen it before.”
But more than the California senator being a Black woman, she’s the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica. What a time to be alive! Over the weekend, I kept thinking about how proud her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, would be if she were alive. As a mama, you always want your children to succeed in life, and in many ways, do better than yourself. And having your daughter become the first female VP is the height of a proud mama bear.
I also thought of the sorority that Kamala and I both pledged—Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s first sorority created by and for Black women. The sorority was founded in 1908 at a time when sororities were not allowing Black women in. To be a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha is to hold your head with pride while fulfilling domestic and international servant-leadership. And I know Kamala will do so with distinction and honor.
I won’t get into the hollowness of the Trump era, but it was so damaging; racism reared its ugly face in ways I’ve never imagined. I’m not saying that Kamala will be a saving grace for the Black people and that things will suddenly change, but it will be nice to hear her speak in personal terms over police brutality and systemic racism.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this would happen. Not only has the glass ceiling been broken, but it was shattered… by a Black woman who truly represents the best of us. Black women “who are too often overlooked but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy,” as Kamala noted, can finally get the recognition they deserve.
I’ll be beaming with pride all day—and for a long time after.
All I have to say is, shhh… the Vice President is speaking.
This story was originally published on November 9th, 2020 and has been updated.