Kamala Harris Makes History as VP-Elect

“Black women and women of color have long been underrepresented in elected office and in November we have an opportunity to change that. Let’s get to work,” Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted in August, in response to a news story about a record number of women of color running for the House and Senate this year.

Hours later, she was announced as Joe Biden’s vice presidential nominee.

Even ahead of November’s election, Harris has made history multiple times over: the third-ever female VP nominee for a major party, the second Black candidate in history and first Black woman in history on a major party presidential ticket. On Saturday, four days after Election Day, Biden was projected to win the presidency, making Harris the first-ever woman elected to one of the top two offices of the executive branch.

Harris follows Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin’s VP runs in 1984 and 2008, respectively. Of course, the first Black candidate to get a major party’s nomination was former President Barack Obama. (Candidates such as Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson and Harris herself previously ran but failed to become the major party nominee.)

In terms of being both Black and a woman, Harris is singular, and her selection comes amid our national reckoning on race.

The daughter of immigrants — her mother from India and her father from Jamaica — Harris was born in Oakland, California, and has in the past defined herself as simply “an American.” (She also makes history as the first Asian American woman on a major party ticket.)

Rep. Val Demings, who had also been shortlisted for the VP position, said in a statement, “To see a Black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith that in America, there is a place for every person to succeed no matter who they are or where they come from.”

In announcing Harris as his running mate, Biden called her “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.” Former President Obama, meanwhile, said Biden “nailed this decision.”

“Her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in: a story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship, or who you love, there’s a place for you here,” Obama wrote. “It’s a fundamentally American perspective, one that’s led us out of the hardest of times before.”

I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing. pic.twitter.com/duJhFhWp6g

“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,” Harris tweeted on Saturday morning. “Let’s get started.” 

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.pic.twitter.com/Bb9JZpggLN

The historic win had fans celebrating. “For all the women who think you can’t make it, this is for you, for all the Black and Brown girls who feel ignored, this is for you, for all Americans that stand for democracy, this is for you,” Loni Love tweeted. 

For all the women who think you can’t make it, this is for you, for all the Black and Brown girls who feel ignored, this is for you, for all Americans that stand for democracy, this is for you… pic.twitter.com/06rKo5ifma

See more reactions below. 

What a tremendous moment in our nation’s history ! 🇺🇸 Congrats to our new President @JoeBiden and the First Female Vice President in our history @KamalaHarris 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

. @[email protected] and the American people, you just gave the world one of the greatest acts of kindness and bravery humanity has ever seen. ❤️ 🙌🙌 nothing but love for our new Commander in Chief and the 1ST female VP elected to the White House. Also, way to go PA 😭❤️ pic.twitter.com/uXiMTWs6Hk

MR. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN!!!!!!!! Also… THE FIRST FEMALE BLACK VP!!! The best news I've heard all year!!!! Let this show that being a good person will ALWAYS win. Love will always win. @[email protected]#BIDENHARRIS 👏🏼💙🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/rV982SkyMd

All I keep thinking is Ella gets to see a black woman as the VP of the United States of America. Wow. pic.twitter.com/JoyOwhLjzU

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