Selection resonates with black women

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DETROIT, United States (AP) — China Cochran met Kamala Harris at a campaign event in Detroit last year and was swept away by her ambition, charisma and leadership. She hoped the California senator would advance in politics.

So when Joe Biden named Harris on Tuesday as his running mate — making her the first black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket — Cochran wasn’t just struck by the history. It represented a full-circle moment for black women, who for generations have fought for their voices to be heard and political aspirations recognised.

“It tells black girls that they can be president,” said Cochran, who recently ran for state representative in Michigan. “If you look back at Shirley Chisholm, she ran so that Kamala could lead at this moment. I think it’s important for us to look at that and see other young women of colour realise that they can go after their dreams and really make change in our worl

Harris’ selection is historic in many senses. It also marks the first time a person of Asian descent is on the presidential ticket. Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, she often speaks of her deep bond with her late mother, whom she has called her single biggest influence.

As they appeared together Wednesday for the first time as running mates, Biden and Harris reflected on the significance of the moment.

“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up — especially little black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities. But today, today, just maybe, they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way,” Biden said.

And in an ode to the many women that paved the way for her, Harris said she was mindful of all of the “heroic and ambitious women before me, whose sacrifice, determination and resilience make my presence here today even possible”.

Harris’ boundary-breaking potential serves as an affirmation of the growing power of voters of colour, according to nearly a dozen interviews with political strategists, potential voters and activists.

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