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By Gwen McKinney

Black women have long been described as the backbone of the Democratic Party. Truth is we are its heart, soul and lifeblood, imposing force and perseverance because it’s in our DNA.

Kamala Harris as VP pick represents a historic milestone in our long and unbroken path to democracy. Despite constant media claims that label her an amorphous “woman of color,” she identifies as a Black woman with a multi-dimensional portrait. Certainly, all women should own the pride and unity of this bold selection because when Black women rise, so does everyone.

Kamala Harris has lived the Black experience, which is not a color but a legacy and reality. The daughter of a Jamaican father and South Asian mother, she is a product of Oakland, California; attended Howard University where she crossed the burning sands of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She fuses good ambition and great possibilities, summoning for me Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman — words we all can wear like a beautiful new frock!


Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.   

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.   

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,   

The bend of my hair,   

the palm of my hand,   

The need for my care.   

’Cause I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.


Now you understand / Just why my head’s not bowed / I don’t shout or jump about / Or have to talk real loud.