Kamala Harris credited the work of generations of women for her barrier-breaking election as Vice President of the United States in a victory speech on Saturday night.
“Black women, Asian, white, Latina and Native American women throughout our nation’s history who have paved the way for this moment tonight,” she said, adding: “Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision—to see what can be unburdened by what has been—I stand on their shoulders.”
Her election to the second-highest office in the land will break several barriers. She will be the first woman in the job, she will be the first Black woman, the first Indian-American and the first daughter of immigrants. Harris took the stage in Wilmington, Del., to Mary J. Blige’s “Work That,” wearing suffragette white. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave some women the right to vote.
Read more: The Historic Barriers Kamala Harris Overcame to Become the First Female, First Black and First Asian American Vice President-Elect
“But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Harris and Biden gave victory speeches to cheering, honking crowd of supporters, many of whom were socially distanced in their vehicles after she and Biden were declared winners of the 2020 presidential election following the Democrats’ victory in Pennsylvania.
Harris, a U.S. Senator from California, said her election delivered a clear message to children all across the country to “dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourselves in a way others may not, simply because they have never seen it before.”
And she credited Biden’s “audacity” in picking her as his running mate, which allowed her to break “one of the most substantial barriers that exists in this country.”
Harris credited activists who protested against President Donald Trump’s administration, and later campaigned and voted against him for the Democrats’ victory in the race for the White House.
“America’s democracy is not guaranteed, it is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it to guard it and never take it for granted,” she said. “And protecting our democracy takes struggle, it takes sacrifice, but there is joy in it and there is progress. Because we the people have the power to build a better future.”
She said supporters “chose hope and unity decency, science—and yes—truth,” adding: “The road ahead will not be easy, but America is ready and so are Joe and I.”
Read the full text of Harris’ prepared remarks:
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