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5 Kamala Harris Quotes to Live By

Kamala Harris has become the Vice-President of the United States of America. Here are 5 quotes from the trailblazer on leadership, racism and being the first.

11.11.2020 | by Kezia Parkins
Image via CNN. Photographer: Sarah Silbiger
Image via CNN. Photographer: Sarah Silbiger

Barrier-busting, converse-wearing Kamala Harris is a woman of many firsts. Aside from spending much of her campaign trail in trainers—something that shouldn’t be seen as radical but a thing that no other woman before her has done—Harris is the first woman, the first African American, the first Asian American and the first Caribbean American to be elected Vice-President of the United States of America.

Of both Indian Tamil and Afro-Jamaican ancestry, in 2017, she became the first South Asian-American senator in US history and the second African-American woman elected to the senate.

As a prosecutor, she was the first Black female Attorney General of California.

With Harris poised to become the most powerful woman in the history of American government, her long road to reach this milestone has required fierce determination. She has overcome and bust through barriers that may have seemed impossible to many women of colour —until now, as the dust settles on the trail that she has blazed.

The world will be watching closely as 55-year-old Harris takes on this incredibly important role at a time when America appears more divided than ever before. 

Here we reminisce on some of her most inspiring quotes from her fascinating career so far…

 

 

On being the first

“My mother used to tell me – she would tell my sister – my mother would look at me and she’d say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last,’” Harris said during a speech at Spelman College in 2018. “And that’s why breaking those barriers is worth it. As much as anything else, it is also to create that path for those who will come after us.”

 

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I hope every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.

A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris) on

 

 

On speaking up

“What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters,” Harris told Marie Claire. “You’re going to walk into many rooms in your life and career where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you’ve had. But you remember that when you are in those rooms, you are not alone. We are all in that room with you applauding you on. Cheering your voice. And just so proud of you. So you use that voice and be strong.”

 

 

On Black women’s issues

“It’s interesting, because as the first Black woman elected to the many positions I’ve been elected to, I am often in rooms, and have been in rooms, where a reporter or someone else will come up to me and they’ll say, ‘So, talk to us about Black women’s issues.’ And I’ll look at them and think, ‘You know what, I am so glad you want to talk about the economy.’ Or sometimes say, ‘I am so glad you want to talk about national security.’ Because what we know is this: Yes, there are issues that explicitly impact the Black community. Simply put, every issue is a Black woman’s issue. And Black women’s issues are everyone’s issues,” she said during her lecture at Spelman College in 2018.

 

 

On leadership

“Anyone who claims to be a leader must speak like a leader. That means speaking with integrity and truth,” Harris said in an Instagram post in 2019.

 

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On battling injustice

“At every step of the way, I’ve been guided by the words I spoke from the first time I stood in a courtroom: Kamala Harris, For the People,” she said during her vice-presidential acceptance speech at the DNC. “I’ve fought for children and survivors of sexual assault. I’ve fought against transnational gangs. I took on the biggest banks, and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges. I know a predator when I see one.”

 

 

On race and racism

“Let’s speak the truth: People are protesting because Black people have been treated as less than human in America. Because our country has never fully addressed the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its earliest days. It is the duty of every American to fix. No longer can some wait on the sidelines, hoping for incremental change. In times like this, silence is complicity,” she wrote in an op-ed for Cosmopolitan.

 

 

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