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Sen. Kamala Harris announces presidential run with logo honoring Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to seek nomination, in '72

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Sen. Kamala Harris announced her presidential candidacy Monday morning with a logo honoring the woman who came before her: Shirley Chisholm. In January 1972, Chisholm — a Brooklyn, N.Y., native and the daughter of immigrants — submitted her official candidacy for president, becoming both the first woman and the first African-American to run for the presidential nomination of a major party.

While Chisholm ultimately fell short, her contribution did not go unnoticed, earning her a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. Harris, according to her campaign staff, wanted to honor Chisholm (who died in 2005) by using the same block letters and red font that Chisholm used. It didn’t take long for Twitter to take notice of both the logo and the timing of Harris’s announcement — on Martin Luther King Day and in the same week in January that Chisholm announced her candidacy.

“It is not taken lightly by many that nearly 50 years after Shirley Chisholm, the first woman & African-American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972),” tweeted CNN analyst Symone D. Sanders.

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Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, would be the first woman, the first black woman and the first Indian-American elected to the office. “I’m excited about it,” she told ABC’s Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Monday, after debuting a short video on Twitter. When Stephanopoulos asked what qualifies her to be commander in chief, Harris alluded to a higher calling.

Sen. Kamala Harris announced she is running for president in 2020 during ABC’s <em>Good Morning America </em>on Jan. 21. (Photo: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images)
Sen. Kamala Harris announced she is running for president in 2020 during ABC’s Good Morning America on Jan. 21. (Photo: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images)

“I love my country. This is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are,” said Harris. “That fight will always include as one of the highest priorities our national security … we must be smart, we must understand the power that we have, the strength that we have.” Harris then pivoted to her decades of experience as a prosecutor.

“My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe. It is probably one of the things that motivates me more than anything else,” she said. “When I look at this moment in time, I know that the American people deserve to have somebody that’s going to fight for them, who will see them, who will hear them, who will care about them, and who will be concerned about their experience — and will put them in front of self interest.”

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Harris is now the third woman to announce a presidential run, following Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

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