Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris walked onstage to Mary J. Blige’s “Work That” in Wilmington, Delaware, Saturday night, before delivering a jubilant acceptance speech. She looked absolutely thrilled, and wore a white power suit, acknowledging the hue the Suffragists wore, and symbolizing her new position as the first woman, Black, and Indian-American vice president.
Harris’s speech acknowledged her achievement, and she made it a special point to call in women of color who helped her get there, in particular Black women, who delivered the Biden-Harris vote in record numbers and also put in outsized work on the ground. After acknowledging her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who immigrated to the U.S. at 19, she said, “So, I’m thinking about her and about the generations of women—Black Women. Asian, White, Latina, and Native American women throughout our nation’s history who have paved the way for this moment tonight. Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality, liberty, and justice for all, including the Black women, who are too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.”
All the women who worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century: 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Voting Rights Act, and now, in 2020, with a new generation of women in our country who cast their ballots and continued the fight for their fundamental right to vote and be heard.
Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision—to see what can be unburdened by what has been—I stand on their shoulders.
Hope you’re having as great a day as I am.
This post has been updated to refer to the Suffragists as Suffragists, rather than the shitty sexist term. I’m still having a fantastic day!