Speed Reads

DNC 2020

Kamala Harris' DNC speech was full of tributes to Black women leaders — and her mother

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made history in many ways as she accepted the Democratic party's vice presidential nomination Wednesday. But in her Democratic National Convention speech, she was sure to thank all the women who'd helped her get there.

"That I am here tonight is a testament to the dedication of generations before me; women and men who believed so fiercely in promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all," Harris said to start his speech as the first Black and South Asian woman on a major party's presidential ticket. She then acknowledged how this week marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, and how hard Black women had to work after its ratification to ensure their own voting rights as well.

"Women like Mary Church Terrell, Mary McCleod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Diane Nash, Constance Baker Motley, and the great Shirley Chisholm," Harris recounted. "We're not always told their stories, but we all stand on their shoulders." And then Harris pivoted to "another woman whose name isn't known:" her mother, Shamala Gopalan Harris. Harris then described how her mother immigrated to the U.S. and met her father at the University of California, Berkeley, and weaved her mother's story through the rest of her speech, knowing "she's looking down on me from above." Kathryn Krawczyk