Wearing White, Kamala Harris Recalls the Past — and Looks Forward

Kamala Harris. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

On Saturday, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris gave a historic acceptance speech, wearing a white suit by the New York-based brand Carolina Herrera — a favorite of former-First Ladies, including Jackie Kennedy, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and Melania Trump. Overall, the look was a poignant nod to the past, as well as a proposal for a clean slate. It was even a new dawn for the pussy bow.

In her remarks, Harris took a moment to honor those who came before her, recalling her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who immigrated from India to America as a teenager. She also nodded to the generations of Black, Asian, White, Latina, and Native American women “throughout our nation’s history who have paved the way for this moment tonight. Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality, liberty, and justice for all.”

Her choice of a white suit seemed to be a specific reference to the suffragettes, who worked to secure women the right to vote in the 20th century. But she never explicitly named the group in her speech, instead making a point to honor every woman who paved the way for her, including Black women, “who are too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy,” she said.

She went on to thank “all the women who worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century: 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Voting Rights Act, and now, in 2020, with a new generation of women in our country who cast their ballots and continued the fight for their fundamental right to vote and be heard.”

“Tonight, I reflect on their struggle,” Harris continued. “Their determination and the strength of their vision — to see what can be unburdened by what has been — I stand on their shoulders.”

Credit was given where credit was due. But in the end, Harris looked ahead: “I may be the first woman in this office,” she said. “[But] I won’t be the last.”

Wearing White, Kamala Recalls the Past — and Looks Forward