Last week, on the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday, California Senator, Kamala Harris, announced her bid to run for President of the United States in 2020.
As a supporter of women and men alike, when I see both muster the courage to be politically engaged, I am rejoiced. I am particularly ecstatic to see women take the plunge because women have an enormously rich heritage of participating in politics as candidates, wives of candidates, companions and family members of political office holders as well.
Unfortunately, moments later, as I strolled my text messages and Facebook feed, I began seeing women’s responses to Harris’s presidential bid. The first text message that I received was from a female friend stating:
“Not to be a naysayer but I just don’t think she can win.”
This comment was like hearing finger nails scratching a chalkboard and made me instantly envision women exchanging cryptic remarks and going blow for blow during the weekly Battle Royale better known as reality shows.
This was appalling to me, because my immediate thoughts were not about whether or not she would or could win. I was just excited to know that a woman of color, a graduate of a prominent HBCU, Howard University has decided she will be running for the highest position in the country. This is a woman who has also been extremely vocal about the power misuse and imbalance of current leaders.
What more do you want or could ask for ?!
When thinking of these women, I did not think about whether or not she could or would win. I thought about the #HERitage and HERstory of Kamala Harris’s bid. Every time a Black woman takes a stand to make a positive change in the world, it is a bold choice to be her ancestor’s wildest dreams.
In support of Harris, I immediately thought about women such as:
Shirley Chisolm, Presidential Candidate, New York Representative, and Educator
Sojourner Truth, Women’s Rights Activist and Abolitionist
Fannie Lou Hammer, Community Organizer, CO-Founder and Vice Chair of the Freedom Democratic Party
bell hooks, Author, Feminist, Scholar, Gloria Jean Watkins
Francis Crest Welsing, Afrocentric Psychiatrist
Patricia Roberts Harris, Diplomat
Let’s join in supporting and uplifting women political candidates, women that handle workplace politics, and women that are surviving everyday politics of life.
It is time to be our sister’s literal keeper in order to move forward and to progress – this results in a true win.
Being your Sister’s keeper is non-negotiable and essential for the common welfare of all women of color. We must repair and restore our cause to sustain and protect the progress of our womanhood.
As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, I would be remiss if I did not mention the way our organization has always celebrated community and public service. An article on CNN.com recognizes the mounting support the organization has for Ms. Harris.
*This is not a candidate endorsement. The candidate views expressed here are those of the writer. The Lowery Institute as a non-partisan organization.