As America bids farewell to the turbulent four-year term of Donald Trump, the country is also ushering in a historic new chapter, with Kamala Harris taking the reigns as the first Black vice president. The California senator, who was the first Black woman and the first Asian American on a major party's presidential ticket, will also be the first American woman to hold the position.
Harris learned about the news along with millions of Americans on Saturday morning as multiple networks announced Joe Biden as president-elect, officially ending the race against Trump.
The senator captured her excitement in a video posted to Twitter.
"We did it," the 56-year-old said in a phone call with Biden. "We did it, Joe. You're going to be the next president of the United States."
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 7, 2020
Former President Barack Obama has described Harris as an ideal partner, someone “who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers.” The statement sums up the trajectory of Harris' career.
The longtime politician has been making history since she became the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in San Francisco and attorney general of California. She is also the second Black woman to be elected to the Senate.
In a time of social unrest, the trailblazer has vowed to stand up for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and dozens more Black people who have lost their lives due to police brutality.
“There is no vaccine for racism,” Harris said during her vice presidential acceptance speech. “We've got to do the work for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor and for the lives of too many others to name."
The former prosecutor exemplified her reputation during the vice presidential debate with Mike Pence.
"Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking – I'm speaking," Harris said.
The stern message has now become a popular meme and a statement on various types of clothing.
Kamala Harris, CEO of I'm speaking, makes history as the first woman and first person of color to be elected VP. pic.twitter.com/OGRKGUx2OD
— Imad (@imadoumen) November 7, 2020
According to The Washington Post, Harris was born to Indian and Jamaican immigrants.
“To see the joy of what is happening in this important moment in American history, with African American, Indian, Asian, Latino women coming together and seeing it in one woman, we understand that her election will not only benefit all women, but her perspective of being able to look at the world through a lens of color will bring inclusion and opportunity,” activist Sonia Sanchez told The Post.
Harris, who is a Howard University graduate, became the first major-party nominee to hold a degree from a historically Black college or university.
“I work in entertainment, and representation is always on my mind. Seeing someone like you on the screen is really powerful. But seeing someone like you in the White House feeds your soul,” Nik Dodani, an Indian American actor and comedian, said. “We’re about to have Vice President Auntie. That is exactly the type of energy we need after four years of Mike Pence.”