Why I Cried When Kamala Harris Was Named as Democratic VP Pick

Photo: Denzel Boyd for Courier

Writing for Courier Newsroom, The Burton Wire‘s founder & editor-in-chief Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. discusses finding out Senator Kamala Harris would be named Vice-President by presumptive 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and the Democratic Party while picking up her daughter and what that means for Black women and girls everywhere. Read an excerpt below:

EXCERPT

I received the text alert just before picking up my daughter from school. On Tuesday, California Sen. Kamala Harris was chosen to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.

Not only had Harris made history as the first Black and South Asian American vice-presidential candidate, but the choice also signaled that the Democratic Party finally recognized the work Black women have done in and for the party since gaining the right to vote.

But, for me, the choice of Harris for VP meant so much more. 

My daughter and I held hands and skipped to the car—even with my bad knee. I buckled her in and gave her snacks. 

“Kai,” I said, smiling, “we have a vice-presidential candidate who looks like us.” 

Kai is four, so she didn’t know what I meant. “What, Mommy?” 

I pulled up a news article on my cell phone and showed her a picture of Harris.  

“She looks like you,” Kai replied excitedly. “Mommy, she looks like you! She looks like me.”

My elation turned to tears when I realized my daughter and other Black and brown girls in this country finally have the opportunity to see themselves as someone who could someday be vice president of the United States.  

I cried because I was relieved. In this current social climate ripe with anti-Black racism and rampant sexism, I had worried about who Biden would choose to join him in the fight to take back the White House. Despite the long list of qualified candidates, I wasn’t convinced Biden would actually select a Black woman. Although Black women have given so much to this country in a myriad of ways, I wasn’t sure it would matter. 

END OF EXCERPT. 

Read the entire piece at Courier Newsroom.

Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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