Kamala Harris' purple Inauguration Day outfit may have been a nod to the first Black woman to run for president

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Melissa Wiley
·2 min read
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Shirley Chisholm - Kamala Harris diptych
Left: Representative Shirley Chisholm announces her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on January 25, 1972, in New York. Right: Vice President Kamala Harris wears purple during hte 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. AP Photo; Greg Nash - Pool/Getty Images
  • Vice President Kamala Harris wore a bright purple outfit on Inauguration Day.

  • The color purple may be a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for president.

  • Representative Barbara Lee also honored Chisholm by wearing her pearls.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Kamala Harris made history on January 20 when she became the United States' first female, Black, and Asian American vice president.

During the historic inauguration, she wore a bright purple dress and coat.

The color purple has several possible meanings, including symbolizing bipartisanship and paying homage to the suffragette movement, according to Insider's Amanda Krause.

Read more: Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren all wore purple for Inauguration Day, likely as a sign of bipartisanship

Her outfit may also have been a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first to run for president, CNN commentator Abby Phillip observed.

Chisholm famously wore purple during her presidential campaign, Newsweek reported.

Harris has said that Chisholm paved a path for her

Harris has been known to draw inspiration from Chisholm, such as using a color scheme similar to Chisholm for her presidential campaign logo.

On January 16, Harris acknowledged the influence Chisholm has had on her political career, tweeting "Shirley Chisholm created a path for me and for so many others."

Chisholm represented New York's 12 congressional district from 1969 until 1983 and ran for president in 1972.

"I ran because most people think the country is not ready for a black candidate, not ready for a woman candidate," Chisholm wrote in her 1973 autobiography "The Good Fight."

While her bid for the Democratic nomination was unsuccessful, it served to set a precedent.

"The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is 'not ready' to elect to its highest office, I believe he or she will be taken seriously from the start," she wrote. "The door is not open yet, but it is ajar."

Harris wasn't the only female politician to pay homage to Chisholm on Inauguration Day

Representative Barbara Lee also paid homage to Chisholm on Inauguration Day by wearing Chisholm's pearl necklace.

"On this historic day, I'm wearing Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm's pearls, given to me by her goddaughter, who said that her godmother, 'would not want it any other way,'" Lee said on Twitter. "Because of Shirley Chisholm, I am. Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice President Harris is."

Read the original article on Insider