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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris makes history

Last Updated Jan 20, 2021 at 10:47 am PDT

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Summary

Kamala Harris made history when she was sworn into the second-highest office in the U.S. Wednesday

Harris is the first Black, South Asian, female vice president in the U.S.

WASHINGTON D.C. (NEWS 1130) — A woman of colour was sworn into the second-highest office in the United States Wednesday morning, amid deep racial tensions and divisions.

On Wednesday, Kamala Harris took a moment to honour her Indian mother and grandmother, and all those who came before her.

In India, in her maternal grandfather’s home village of Thulasendrapuram, people have been setting off firecrackers and saying prayers for the VP-elect.

Wednesday marks the first time a woman and a South Asian person enters the White House in an executive role.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said in December, after the election was confirmed by the electoral college.

She was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of colour to sit in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Harris credits her mother, a breast cancer researcher and endocrinologist, for teaching her about the importance of science, while her Jamaican father bestowed wisdom as a Stanford University economics professor.

“She was so passionate about science. She basically had two goals in her life; to raise her two daughters and to end breast cancer,” she shared about her mother back in December.

It was also her mother who brought her from California to Quebec at 12 years old, giving Montreal’s Westside High School (where Harris graduated in 1981) claim to the heavy-hitting alumnus.

Harris attended Howard University, a historically Black university, which was created to help Black Americans achieve a post-secondary education when they were not allowed in predominantly white institutions.

Now, she’s being held up as somewhat of a celebrity official, with reporters covering her outfit in the style of a red carpet or Royal visit.

Online, women across the U.S. are expressing relief that science and human rights will hopefully be at the centre of policy making after four years of a White House that many felt was hostile towards womens’ rights, especially access to abortion.