LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, issued the following statement in response to Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s announcement that Senator Kamala Harris will join his campaign as his running mate:
“Our call for change on this year’s Democratic ticket has been answered. Today, Joe Biden, had the opportunity to make history by selecting a Black woman to be his running mate, and made it a reality. This is great news for progress and our democracy. Congratulations to Senator Kamala Harris. Thank God she was so ambitious!
“On the eve of the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which did not secure our right to vote, this is a historic win for Black women, who have long been disenfranchised.
“Let’s all take a minute to acknowledge the significance of this moment. This victory was shaped not just by this individual, but also by the hundreds and thousands of nameless Black women on whose shoulders she stands. Even in recent weeks, Black women have been organizing and lifting their voices to hold Biden accountable for being on the right side of history.
“It’s also important in this moment to acknowledge the break away from our country’s patriarchal and racist ways. Biden’s choice for VP opens the doors for new thinking, and from here, we expect Senator Harris to set a new course as part of the Biden administration. That means centering poor and working class people — particularly since Black women are 68% of wage workers — and building an agenda that helps to close the wealth gap, protect against domestic violence, and end the rampant police violence that plagues our cities. This move also signals a permanent break in the glass ceiling and opens up the possibilities for all women, including younger generations, to find their place in leadership roles, because we are truly capable of anything.
“Our country has been in the midst of a reckoning about our past, how we treat others, injustices that have festered for far too long and the diversity of our country not being represented fully across all sectors. And while we’ve made great strides, a Black woman as a potential Vice President in the White House, will take us even further in our effort to bring about real systemic change in America today.
“I’m convinced that given what’s happening right now in this country, there is a need for us to do something different, to bring a new viewpoint and true representation to the second highest office in our government. I believe that a Black woman will bring that to the ticket. And I feel strongly that Black voters will support this choice — even more.
“November 3 is less than 90 days away and this election happens while our nation faces multiple crises. After four years of racial division from the White House, we urgently need the right leadership and Joe Biden took the right step forward with his decision today.
“Last, but not least, I must acknowledge Shirley Chisholm, the first woman to run for the Democratic nomination. Even though she did not win it, Ms. Chisholm broke barriers that laid the foundation for what happened today. We honor the legacy of Black women like Ms. Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Amelia Boynton and many others. Today, we have an opportunity with Senator Kamala Harris to build on that history and legacy.”
LaTosha Brown is a co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, an organization dedicated to expanding Black voter engagement and increasing progressive power through movement-building and engagement. LaTosha is one of several prominent Black female leaders and activists who launched a recent campaign for a Black woman VP. She was also recently selected as the 2020-2021 American Democracy Fellow at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.