'She Believed in America': Kamala Harris Remembers Mother While Honouring Women's Contribution to US
File photo of Kamala Harris with mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris.
Kamala Harris has become a household name in the world today. The woman who strode on to the pages of history as the first woman, African-American and also the first woman of Indian-origin to take on the mantle of America's vice president, has inspired millions of women across the world, diverse women from all backgrounds to aspire and win in life, just like she herself did.
Harris, who addressed Americans after the win in a white suit in honor of the women's suffragist movement, also remembered her Indian mother on a night which was special, in more ways than one.
#Alert - "All the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century I stand on their shoulders," Vice President-elect Kamala Harris says. "But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last." pic.twitter.com/glkWnBDONP— CNNNews18 (@CNNnews18) November 8, 2020
"To the woman most responsible for my presence here today, my mother-Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who is always in our hearts. When she came here from India at the age of 19, maybe she didn't quite imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible," Harris said while addressing the crowd who had attended the open-air event for her and President-elect Joe Biden's address.
She added, "So, I'm thinking about her and about the generations of women- Black women. Asian, White, Latina, Native American women who throughout our nation's history have paved the way for this moment tonight."
"Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality, liberty, and justice for all, including the Black women, who are too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy," Harris added amid loud cheering from the crowd that had gathered.
Harris' mother, Shyamala moved to the United States at the age of 19 to study endocrinology and went on to research on breast cancer. At the University of Berkeley, Shyamala met and married Donald Harris from Jamaica.
Harris’ father, Donald Harris, is a professor of economics at Stanford. Him and her mother separated when Kamala was 7 years old. Harris and her younger sister were raised by their Indian mother.
Harris has often mentioned her mother's influence in instilling the grit and determination needed to motivate her political career and her life.
While concluding her speech on Saturday, Harris said her victory was just a beginning for women to hold important positions of power in US history.
"While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last," Harris said while introducing President-elect Joe Biden. "Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibility," she said.