Watch Kamala Harris's full speech at the 2020 Democratic National convention

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) accepted the Democratic party's historic nomination to be its vice-presidential candidate during the Democratic National Convention on Aug.19. | Photo credit: Getty

In her highly anticipated address capping the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, Sen. Kamala Harris's became the third woman to accept the nomination for vice president of a major political party and the eleventh woman to run for vice president of the United States of America. In 2008, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the Republican vice presidential nominee, and in 1984, then-Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York, a Democrat, was the first woman to be on a major party ticket.


Much of her speech focused heavily on the former prosecutor’s biography, reintroducing the daughter of immigrants to a national audience and casting her as a crusader for justice with a deep law enforcement background. Harris also focused on racial matters, by comparing the plights of prominent civil rights leaders to the story of her own parents who emigrated to the United States from India and Jamaica.

It was her mother who taught her, “to believe public service is a noble cause and the fight for justice is a shared responsibility,” Harris said — values that shaped the candidate’s ascent from San Francisco district attorney to California attorney general to U.S. senator.

“I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman — all of five feet tall — who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California,” Harris said. “On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America.”

Beyond her family biography, Harris’ speech also sought to highlight her courtroom experience and tenure atop the nation’s second-largest justice department. She touted her legal battles against “transnational criminal organizations” and her advocacy on behalf of sexual assault survivors, noting that “I know a predator when I see one.”

Harris spoke glowingly of Biden’s late son Beau, a fellow state attorney general from Delaware, and praised the former vice president’s involvement in legislation that included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the Violence Against Women Act and the Recovery Act. While President Donald Trump “turns our tragedies into political weapons,” she said, “Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose.”

The Crisis magazine is a quarterly journal of politics, culture, civil rights and history that seeks to educate and challenge its readers about issues facing African-Americans and other communities of color.

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