bdmetronews Desk ॥ Sen. Kamala Harris made history three times Saturday as the first woman, first Black person and first Asian American to be elected to the vice presidency, according to the Associated Press, which called the race.
Harris’s election is a breakthrough for the Democratic Party. Several Black lawmakers told Yahoo News before Election Day that her elevation will serve as an inspiration for minority youth around the country.
“This represents a real sea change in how Black women will be viewed going forward in terms of our electability and our ability to deliver on the promise that is America,” said Rep. Terri Sewell, the first Black woman to represent Alabama in Congress.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a close friend and colleague of Harris’s, told Yahoo News the cultural impact of her win may be underestimated.
“This is culturally more powerful than, I think, many really understand — what it’s going to mean for four-plus years to have her daily in all of our lives,” said Booker.
Joe Biden’s August announcement that Harris would be his running mate energized his supporters. In the day that followed, the Biden campaign raised $26 million, a historic haul for the already flush campaign.
Those who pushed Biden to select Harris described her as a whip-smart, difficult-to-pin-down moderate choice who would not turn off Republican voters looking to defect from President Trump. That characterization did not stop the Trump campaign — and Trump himself — from painting Harris as a socialist, a label she rejects.
Harris, 56, was born to Donald Harris, an economist and Stanford University professor originally from Jamaica, and Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian immigrant and leading cancer researcher, in Oakland, Calif., in 1964.
As a teenager, she and her sister moved to Montreal to live with her mother after her parents divorced. She attended high school in Canada and returned to the States to attend Howard University, a historically Black school that was a formative experience for Harris. She led Howard’s debate team and became an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, a historic Black sorority. Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters were significant donors during Harris’s presidential primary run.