Madame Vice President Takes a Look Into the Past to Inspire the Future

Madame Vice President, Kamala Harris posted an Instagram tribute to the women who shaped her reality as the first female Vice President of the United States. The IGTV video was posted on Harris’ personal Instagram page on January 19th with the caption: “I’m here today because of the women who came before me.”

Behind the words of her first address after being elected as Vice President in November was a montage of women who inspired her and paved the way for Harris to earn this title. The tribute encapsulates empowered women, empowering women. 

The video featured pictures of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who came to the United States at the age of 19 years old in 1960. Born into a family of civil rights activists, Vice President Harris credited her mother to her success in not only politics but America as a country. 

“When she came here from India at the age of nineteen, she maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment,” says Harris. “But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible.” 

Harris continued to recount the generations of women from a variety of cultures who fought to create an America where a female woman of color could be seen as a leader of our country. Images feature suffragettes, civil rights activists, female athletes, scientists, and women in politics. 

One quote that particularly stood out to me was, “the Black women who are often, too often, overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”

In a time of civil unrest and the need for change in our country, acknowledging the women of color who have broken glass ceilings while also navigating the unjust racial divide made Kamala’s speech even more inspiring and acknowledged a power that is bigger than one person. 

Madame Vice President alluded to the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, 55 years since the Voting Rights Act, and the women who are continuing the fight for their “fundamental right to vote and be heard.”

Many are commenting on the extraordinary time we are living in. Harris mentioned her nieces in a separate interview, where she commented that they will only know a world where a woman can hold the position of Vice President. 

Harris has broken down all kinds of barriers. She was only the second black woman to ever serve in the United States Senate and now holds the honor of being the first woman, the first person of Asian descent, and the first person of Indian descent to hold the second-highest title in US office. 

Her tribute, which can be found here, highlights the perseverance and commitment it took from all women to bring her where she is. She famously says she “stands on their shoulders” and promises “to see what can be, unburdened by what has been.”