With the winning of newly elected 46th President Joe Biden, the United States also gained Vice President Kamala Harris. Her new role brings about numerous firsts. She can be labeled as the first woman vice president, first black vice president, first Asian American vice president and the first Democratic vice president from the West Coast. Her position comes 100 years after the passing of the 19th Amendment, allowing women to cast ballots and 55 years after African Americans were allowed to vote.
Harris’ new leadership position is just one of many on the road to a better future, allowing gender and racial justice. She is the epitome of no matter where you come from, you can make it in America. Her mother emigrated from India, and her father is an immigrant from Jamaica. Harris represents many of the individuals in this big American melting pot. She is paving the way for young Americans that look like her to let them know no matter how hard they have it, they too can eventually get to the top and make a change.
This election could not have come at a better time, with all the racial tension happening beforehand. Harris being sworn in also came merely a month before February, a month recognized as black history month. Her victory will change the way some young women and girls view politics. It placed not only a woman closer to the presidency than we have ever seen but a black woman at that.
Harris’ signature style can be seen as being “chucks and pearls.” The pearls worn are symbolic to the oldest historically black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, of whom Harris is a proud alumna. The sorority’s founders are known as the Twenty Pearls, and Harris wears pearls in solidarity with her sisters, another proud, victorious moment in the black community. The chuck tailors that she wears bear no special meaning.
Harris stated, in an interview with CBS This Morning, “You know, I grew up with Chucks. I just love them. They’re comfortable.” Many people stood alongside Kamala, wearing their chucks and pearls on immigration day.
Although Harris is not perfect, she has done many things that helped the community and its individuals. Harris advocated for the system to favor rehabilitation over punishment and wanted to abolish the tough-on-crime policies. She also started a program that gave first-time offenders a chance to get their charges dropped by going to school. The nation will be watching the new president and vice president to see if they keep their promises. One thing is for sure. New leader Harris will be a trailblazer regardless.
by Ashanti Brown