Kamala Harris has been sworn in as vice-president — officially becoming the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to serve in the role.
Harris, daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, was sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the supreme court. According to USA Today, Harris swore on two different bibles — one that belonged to the Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and another that was given to her by family friend Regina Shelton, which was used when she took her oath as a U.S. senator.
Harris is no stranger to making history. Prior to her appointment as vice-president, the former prosecutor was only the second Black woman to serve in the upper chamber of the United States Congress. Prior to securing her Senate seat, Harris became the first woman and person of color to be appointed as the district attorney of San Francisco, and later became California’s attorney general.
In an exclusive November 2020 op-ed for ESSENCE, Harris wrote at length about her vision for this country if she were to take office alongside Joe Biden.
“Joe and I have a plan to contain this virus with a national strategy that includes masks, widespread free testing, contact tracing, and a free and safe vaccine,” she wrote. “We’ll make sure our frontline workers, many of whom are Black, have the personal protective equipment and support they need. We will provide schools and businesses with clear, evidence-based guidelines to reopen safely—and the resources to do so.”
Congratulations to Madame Vice President!