Politics aside, seeing a woman — let alone a Black female and a person of South Asian descent — sworn in as the United States’ vice president marked a monstrous step in the right direction for Americans.
The inauguration of the nation’s 49th vice president was an earth-shattering — and glass-shattering — moment. Kamala Harris confidently took her oath 232 years after the first of 48 consecutive male vice presidents (John Adams) did the same.
For so long (far too long), the closest a woman could get to assuming some of the nation’s highest political offices would be to marry a man who was destined to ascend to presidency or vice presidency. Not anymore.
Jan. 20, 2021, was an empowering day for American women.
Strong, influential women have played key roles but did so in the shadows for centuries, dating back to 1789, when Abigail Adams was the first “second lady.”
Harris, 56, is in a prominent, pressure-packed position. She’s far from a “second lady.” She’s “second in command,” as Lateefah Simon, a civil rights advocate, said. “You will now have a Black woman who will walk into the White House not as a guest but as a second in command of the free world,” Simon said.
She started off her term with a quite presidential gesture as she and her husband, Doug Emhoff, escorted former VP Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, out of the Capitol.
Just 12 years ago, the country saw Barack Obama become the first Black president. On Wednesday, Harris made history.
Perhaps new president Joe Biden said it best: “Don’t tell me things can’t change.”