By Amelia Ashley-Ward
I reached out to congratulate my friend Kamala Harris shortly after she accepted the nomination to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. She is, in fact, the first African-American woman to be selected to be Vice President by any major political party. I had planned on simply leaving a message for her because it’s been our habit for some 20 years to have each other’s back and to celebrate milestones.
I didn’t expect her to answer. After all, she had just given the speech of her life. It was searing, well-reasoned and at times emotional. She had just ascended magnificently into history, standing on the shoulders of Shirley Chisholm, Mary McLeod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hamer, Harriet Tubman and other Sheroes. She must have been nostalgic.
CNN and other major networks were busy analyzing her speech. They were comparing her to the politically iconic Kennedys. One analyst even suggested that Harris is the Democratic party’s new leader. They talked of her defining speech, its content, and the praise she heaped upon her late Mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, her inspiration.
I was still crying and celebrating, while talking with my right hand, Rosalyn Gillis. I could hardly see through my tears, when a few minutes later Kamala Devi Harris, my freedom fighting friend, answered me back. I was blown away. I just thought that since you’re about to finally kick in that glass ceiling – and we know it had to be you – that you didn’t have time to answer. But you did.
I was thinking to myself: Hey Madame Vice-President, what’s up with you? Why are you taking a pause from celebrating to answer me with such a kind and loving message?
My thoughts about my friend Kamala continued to flow. This is your night, your time, and your turn. Enjoy it and get every ounce of pleasure out of it. You are now finally reaping what you have sowed.
You weren’t given any free passes, you never asked for favors, handouts, or hand me downs. You earned all that you have achieved and climbed every stair to get there. You answered the bell for every round, and you refuse to ever back down.
I should not have been surprised by your answering the call. You have always made yourself available and answered the call to service. And I am so proud of you for answering the call to serve with President Joe Biden to help turn this country around. That’s simply your way and how you operate.
Our future VP is who she is and where she is because she is driven in her quest for freedom, justice and equality and she is loyal. Senator Harris at times will stop what’s she’s doing to answer a call.
I have known California’s first African-American woman District Attorney and first African American Attorney General Harris to be this way for her 18-year political career. To make it plain: She is “Kamala Harris For the People.”
Kamala listens and she’s an independent thinker. And she’ll do the same as VP. Kamala has been characterized as being too ambitious.
What a great compliment and aren’t we glad. Someone lacking ambition would never have run for such valuable political offices to perfect social change and, in doing so, made the cover of Time Magazine. And, she certainly would not be the talk of the world as an exemplary woman who has marched into the history books again and again and again. Well done!
Thank you, Kamala, for always answering and being there for all of us.
Let’s Go Biden and Harris!
AMELIA ASHLEY-WARD is the publisher of the 76-year-old Sun-Reporter in San Francisco. Ashley-Ward has received numerous awards and served as Chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation in 2018. Currently she serves on the advisory board of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California and the board of directors of the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP.