Dear Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, I don’t even know how to begin this letter. I guess I am just emotional about seeing a woman of colour be elected to the second-highest position in the United States of America. With the turmoil of this year fresh in my mind and heart, from George Floyd to the coronavirus, I am happy that efficiency and compassion are gracing the halls of the White House. Moreover, for the first time in a long time, I am hopeful.
Then, one day, I heard the announcement: Joe Biden selected you to be his running mate.
I have to admit that I was skeptical about this news. To me, this seemed to be some sort of ploy. I thought Joe was only asking you to be his running mate to secure the Black vote. I thought you were just a tool in his campaign. Then, I heard you speak. I heard the passion, conviction, authority, and gentleness. I heard power. A captivating power coming from a Black woman on a world-renowned stage where eyes from around the world were glued on her.
Now, I’ve seen powerful Black women on stage before. I’ve seen Beyonce perform and I’ve listened to countless speeches from Michelle Obama; however, there was something different about you. There was a sense of innocence in the way that I absorbed your ideas on topics ranging from economics to social justice. I feel ashamed for thinking that you were just a part of Joe’s agenda. In essence, I see now that I was projecting.
Black women are more than tools for a man’s agenda. We are powerful beings with thoughts that deserve to be heard.
Seeing you on that stage tonight, praising the legacy established by Black women in America, reminded me, a Black-Canadian, of the power within. There are so many little girls around the world like us. Girls with ambition, talent, heart, and creativity; however, are overlooked. They are doubted. They are told “no” solely because of the colour of their skin. This doubt and refusal push Black girls to the outskirts of their communities.
They are afraid to even try or dream about their potential and where it can take them. Seeing you on that stage tonight gave me hope that this doubt, this fear, the terrible pattern of overlooking Black girls, and women in general, will change. When Americans voted for you and Joe they voted for change. They voted for possibility.
I know you’re not doing this to inspire, but I want to let you know that you are inspiring. You’re inspiring girls around the world. You are changing minds and hearts. You’re setting a precedent for a new America, and maybe even a new world. Thank you.
Sincerely, A Black millenial from a small town in Canada. P.S: I agree. You may be the first Black, female Vice President of the United States, but you certainly won’t be the last.