Sydney McCall | Staff Writer
For the first time in American history, on November 7, a woman was elected to the nation’s second highest office.
Kamala Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, will be sworn in as the highest ranking woman in the country on January 20, 2021. Her victory makes her America’s first Black, first South Asian, and first female vice president-elect. Harris’ win comes at the end of the Trump era, largely affiliated with a rise in white supremacy, xenophobia, and misogyny.
This is not the first time the California Senator, has broken barriers. In 2016, she became the second African American woman and the first South Asian American to ever serve in the United States Senate. Her position as the future vice president comes as a triumph to many that were devastated in 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump, after being the first woman to ever win the presidential nomination of a major party.
Kamala Harris’ win symbolizes a beacon of hope for women, people of color, and HBCU students around the nation. Harris is a 1986 graduate of Howard University and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest Black sorority in the country. Her victory gave her sorors and students at historically black colleges a moment to shine while also seeing a representation of themselves in a powerful place.
“I feel very empowered to know that a woman of color is going to be making some of the big decisions in this country,” said Janiya Pearson, freshman class president at Hampton. “Kamala has truly made history in this nation and seeing her lets me know that I can one day do the same.”
In her first speech as vice president-elect, Harris wore all white, mirroring the uniform of the suffragettes who 100 years ago, advocated for women’s right to vote in this country. She also recognized how historic the moment was and what it meant for women.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” she said. “Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before. But know that we will applaud you every step of the way.”
The Vice President-elect also used her victory speech to recognize the importance of black women in this election, honoring them as the “backbone of our democracy.” Harris and President-Elect Biden have stressed the importance of compassion and unity in our country and plan to use their time in office to do so.