In her first speech as vice president-elect, Kamala Harris invoked not only the historic nature of her election, but also praised those who came before her to help pave the path to the White House.
Harris, who walked out to her signature theme, “Work That” by Mary J. Blige, began her speech by referencing the late-Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon who died earlier this year, by praising voters for ushering in a “new day” for America.
“When our very democracy was on the ballot,” said Harris, the first Black and first Asian American woman vice president during remarks at Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, “you ushered in a new day for America.”
Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, spoke of her mother, who came to the United States at the age of 19, saying she might not have imagined this moment but that she “believed so deeply in a America where a moment like this is possible.”
“So I’m thinking about her, and about the generations of women, Black women,” Harris said, pausing as the crowd cheered. “Asian, white, Latina, Native American women, who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight.”
Harris highlighted the work that Black women specifically have put into this nation’s democracy. Black voters, particularly Black women, helped pushed Joe Biden’s victory in the primary and onto victory to the White House.
“Tonight I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been,” she added. “And I stand on their shoulders.”