Black, South Asian families share their joy at Kamala Harris's VP win: 'Look baby, she looks like us'

Elena Sheppard
Sen. Kamala Harris's rise to the vice presidency is resonating with girls of color. (Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Sen. Kamala Harris's rise to the vice presidency is resonating with girls of color. (Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Kamala Harris made history on Saturday, becoming the first woman, the first Black woman and the first woman of Indian descent to be elected to the position of vice president. Harris is the daughter of two immigrants; her father came to the United States from Jamaica, and her mother from India. Throughout her career as a prosecutor, district attorney, attorney general and then junior senator, the California native has proudly spoken of her background, and how little she worries about what other people think of it. As she told the Washington Post in 2019, “I am who I am. I'm good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I'm fine with it.”

When she took the stage on Saturday night to give her acceptance speech, the Vice President-elect reflected on her mother’s journey in particular. “She maybe didn’t imagine quite this moment,” Joe Biden’s running mate said of her late mother, biomedical scientist Shyamala Gopalan Harris. “But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible, and so I am thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women — who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment — women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all.”

Harris’s success has caused an outpouring of excitement across the country and around the world. In particular, many parents of color shared sentiments about what Harris’s election means to them and their children. As actress and writer Mindy Kaling, the daughter of Indian immigrants, posted on Instagram, “Crying and holding my daughter, ‘Look baby, she looks like us.’”

Across social media, other parents shared the joy of this moment. As Harris said in her speech on Saturday, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.”

Some, like New Girl actress Hannah Simone, whose father is Indian, posted about what the moment meant to them as adults looking back on their childhoods. “Thank you, Kamala. Thank you, America,” Simone wrote on Instagram. “From this little Indian girl who never thought she would see the day simply because she had never seen it before.”

Related video: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addresses the country

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