Inauguration Day: Kamala Harris Makes History As First Black Female Vice President
Kamala Harris is now Vice President of the United States; not just the first woman to do so, but the first Black woman.
The 56-year-old, who was was born to immigrant parents from India and Jamaica, is the first woman, first Black person, first Indian American and first Asian American to be elected.
Harris follows on from former VP Mike Pence, and enters the White House alongside Joe Biden, the 46th POTUS. ‘We have elected a president who represents the best in us, a leader the world will respect and our children will look up to. A commander in chief who will respect our troops and keep our country safe and a president for all Americans,’ she said in an earlier speech.
Biden has been working closely with Harris in the lead-up to being sworn in, with the president saying ‘there’s not a single decision I’ve made yet’ without consulting her. She also interviewed every one of Biden’s cabinet nominees.
Biden earlier said, ‘I told [Barack Obama] I wanted to be the last person in the room before he made important decisions. That’s what I asked Kamala. I asked Kamala to be the last voice in the room. To always tell me the truth.’
In her first victory address last year, Harris said, ‘While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.’
She continued, ‘Because 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.’
Jennifer Edwards, senior director at Color of Change, told BBC News, ‘Hundreds of thousands of Black women have fought, organised and voted to reach this moment. Now, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has a responsibility to represent demands of the people who ushered her into office.’
Harris earlier said, ‘To the American people, no matter who you voted for, I will strive to be a vice president like Joe was to President Obama: loyal, honest, and prepared; waking up every day thinking of you and your family, because now is when the real work begins, the hard work, the necessary work, the good work, the essential work to save lives and beat this epidemic.’
America now has its first second gentleman in Douglas Emhoff, Harris’s husband.
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