Kamala Harris breaks the glass ceiling

Becomes first woman of colour to be sworn in as Vice President of US

Kamala Harris breaks the glass ceiling

Kamala Harris is sworn in as US Vice President as her spouse Doug Emhoff holds a bible during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2021. Reuters

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20

The American polity had never witnessed the sight of a woman taking oath as the Vice President, much less a coloured woman.

Kamala Harris, the new Vice President of the US, registered another first in keeping with her values when she was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice.

Biden was obviously the main focus of the swearing-in but it was Harris’ swearing-in which held more symbolic weight than any other US Vice President.

Placing her hand on two well-worn Bibles during the swearing-in, she opted to address the nation in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a symbolic effort at reconciliation after four extremely divided years under Donald Trump that culminated in a predominately white mob storming the US Capitol.

“Tomorrow she breaks the glass ceiling - and the country will never be the same again. We will always have her back. That is a huge historical moment that should also be uplifted,” said her ally and Mayor of Long Beach, California, Robert Garcia, a day before she was to be sworn in.

“Black women in politics are no longer a ‘first’. They are a force,” posted Martha Jones, Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the author of “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All’’.

Some of my greatest heroes were lawyers: Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, Constance Baker Motley—giants of the civil rights movement. I cared a lot about fairness, and I saw the law as a tool that can help make things fair,’’ Harris has written in her memoir, “The Truths We Hold.” 

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