The Century of Black Women Activists Who Paved the Way for Kamala Harris
Joe Biden’s choice of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate is rightly heralded as a historic moment for Black women. For the first time, a Black woman is the presumptive nominee of a major party ticket. This moment comes 100 years after women gained the right to vote with the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 and 55 years after the Voting Rights Act guaranteed the ability of Black people to exercise their franchise.
Harris’ rise reflects her own long list of qualifications—district attorney of San Francisco; first African American and first woman attorney general of California; second African American woman and first South Asian American in the U.S. Senate. But her rise—hastened in part by this summer’s national protests that likely factored into Biden’s decision—also has deep historical roots in the extensive record of Black women’s political activism in the U.S. Read more on Politico