To many of my white collegiate peers, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris winning the election was a step in the right direction towards a more inclusive society. Personally, it was more than that. Of course, I was thrilled to see the seemingly illiterate clown who occupied the oval office for four years lose the election; however, to see a woman of color elected to our nation’s second-highest office is something that members of my community only dreamed of.
With racism and sexism ingrained in our nation, Black women are constantly placed on the bottom of the societal totem pole. Yet, despite how the world perceives us, Black women have forever and will always be the backbone of this country. Kamala Harris’ victory proves the strength and perseverance of the Black woman and gives hope to women of color around the world. What is more, Vice President-elect Harris is a graduate of an Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Howard University. This aspect of her background honors African American history and culture while also giving overdue recognition to our HBCUs.
When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election, it seemed our country finally acknowledged the potential of Black women. As a young Black woman myself, the perception of my value heightened as I internalized the moment. Being able to see representation in such an esteemed position was nothing short of inspiring.
While Vice President-elect Harris has invited young women like me to stand on her shoulders, I think it is crucial to commemorate the Black women whose shoulders she stands on as she prepares to assume the vice presidency in January. Several Black women have paved the way for future generations to come. The Black women who came before us have demonstrated to women of color around the world that they are worth more than what society deems them to be, and Harris is one of them.
As I reflect on this historic moment, I must be clear, I have not given Vice President-elect Harris a pass on parts of her career that are in question. We must hold her accountable for social justice initiatives, criminal justice reforms, and police reform as she takes on this new position. However, I will not let any of that overshadow this moment in time when someone who looks like me has made history.
So personally, Kamala Harris being elected as the next Vice President of the United States was more than just a step in the right direction, it was a sign of hope for me and my community.
REPORTER: Lauren Lennon
THE VOICE, Gravity Magazine, 2020
Photo Source: @complex on Instagram