Kamala Harris: The First Female US Vice President's Significant Moments At The Inauguration
Millions from around the globe celebrated America today as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as America’s 46th President and Vice President respectively, marking the end of Donald Trump’s tumultuous term.
The unprecedented inauguration ceremony might have taken place in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic and on the heels of the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, but it was remarkable nonetheless. From performances by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks to the stirring speeches celebrating the triumph of democracy, and even right down to the fashion choices that helped define the historical event, there was much to celebrate.
Historical on so many levels is none other than the appointment of Kamala Harris as Vice President. The daughter of a Jamaican American father and Indian American mother, she became not only the first woman to hold a nationally elected office, but also the first Asian-American to reach such heights, enough to shatter the glass ceiling.
In fact, from the moment she stepped out of her motorcade and walked up the steps of the US Capitol, she had already made history. If you were unable to tune in to the live broadcast, here are some top Kamala Harris moments from the ceremony and the significance behind them.
The colour purple
Harris made more than just one statement when she chose to take her oath in a monotone purple jacket with a matching knee-length dress by emerging designer Christopher John Rogers. Rogers, who won 2020 CFDA American Emerging Designer of the Year, is a rising fashion star who is also black and queer.
Additionally, purple is a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run for president back in 1972 and inspired Harris’ political career.
The gorgeous pearls
Harris added a touch of bling to her outfit by accessorising her ensemble with a pearl necklace by Brooklyn-based designer Wilfredo Rosado. The pearls are a homage to Alpha Kappa Alpha, the Howard University sorority she belonged to.
Specifically made for Harris to mark the inauguration ceremony, the striking piece of jewellery features gold open links with 12 South Sea pearls separated by 11 brilliant diamonds.
As the world watched, Harris raised her right hand and took the oath of office with her left hand on two Bibles that symbolise the two people in her life whom she saw as heroes.
One belonged to Regina Shelton, a neighbour who was a second mother to Harris and her sister, while the other belonged to civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice and fellow Howard University graduate.
The unspoken conversation
Forever etched in our minds is the now iconic sight of former President Barack Obama congratulating Harris at the ceremony. Obama looked on as Harris was sworn in as Vice President.
In a significant moment that quickly went viral, Obama double first-bumped Harris—America’s first black president and the first Asian-American Vice President. Harris also shared a double fist-bump with Michelle Obama, who made history as America's first African-American First Lady.