Black History Month – Kamala Harris
February 26, 2021
Black History Month is a time to reflect and honor those in our struggle for racial equality and who have moved all of us forward through bold and principled actions. History is happening now as we look towards the future with the current Black activist leaders setting the standard for change.
On January 20, 2021, we witnessed history being made as Kamala Harris was sworn into office and became the first woman, the first Black American, and the first person of South Asian descent to serve as Vice President of the United States of America.
To her newly elected role as Vice President, she brings not only decades of public service, legal and legislative experience, but an upbringing and personal narrative that resonates with so many others in our country and labor community.
Her heritage and deep-rooted values in equality and opportunity were not the only important attributes she brought to the U.S. Vice President’s office. Seeing her on the steps of the Capitol building taking the oath of office showed all of us, but especially women and people of color across the nation, that the future is bright, and the promise of America is alive.
In her victory speech in November 2020, Harris said that she was thinking "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 and liberty and justice for all…I stand on their shoulders.”
For workers, Kamala Harris’ victory was a win for America’s labor movement. Harris, who has been a U.S. Senator from California for the last three years, has a 100% pro-worker voting record, according to the nation’s largest labor federation, the AFL-CIO. “Kamala Harris has spent her career tackling some of the most critical issues facing working families,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. Trumka also states, based on her record for labor, “we know that working people are fortunate to have her continue to champion our values at a national level.”
As Attorney General, Kamala Harris tackled some of the most pressing issues California faced including going after the big banks in the wake of a housing crisis, protecting workers from rampant wage theft and criminal justice reform.
And now Kamala Harris has the biggest stage yet when it comes to political ascent for Black women and women of color in the United States—and, if history is any indication, her success will encourage others to follow.
AFA is excited about this new chapter in Black History. Our Union has always fought for progress, and we are proud to see another glass ceiling finally shattered. As we enter the last days of Black History Month 2021, it does not come to an end. We will continue to honor and stand in solidarity with those heroes of the past, present and the future.
(Note: Photo Credit: NPR)