When Kamala Harris was sworn-in as the vice president of the United States Wednesday morning, the former California Senator made history.
Not only is she the first Black person to hold the second-highest elected office in the nation, but also the first woman and person of South Asian descent to become vice president.
Rewind four years, and Romona Jackson Jones was sworn in as the first Black woman to be elected to Douglas County’s highest elected office. Jones just started her second term as the county’s commission chairman.
A year earlier, Rochelle Robinson was sworn in as the first Black female mayor of Douglasville after winning election in 2015.
It would be an understatement to say that both Jones and Robinson are elated about Harris’ achievement.
“As the first African-American to serve as commission chairman in Douglas County’s 150 year history, I am excited about the bold statement Vice President Kamala Harris is making by validating all women who work hard and strive for success are capable of governing in America,” Jones said.
Robinson shared similar sentiments.
“My initial response to the news that Joe Biden was picking Kamala Harris was one of extreme pride,” Robinson said. “America became most aware of Kamala Harris in her role as Senator during those Presidential hearings and as a Presidential candidate herself, but I was very happy and proud of his choice.”
Robinson also holds a special bond with Harris. They are both members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
“The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., bond is beyond explanation,” Robinson said. “I am so very proud that the world now sees the relevance of Black sororities and fraternities and the importance of sisterhood, community and service that we all share in our respective communities. We have an innate responsibility to foster relationships and give back to the next generations and to continue to support education, social justice and equality for all mankind.”
Although Harris has broken barriers the majority of her life, both Robinson and Jones know the road will not be easy as the first female vice president in a male-dominated political arena.
“Being the first Black mayor of Douglasville helps me to pray even more diligently for our vice president, because the expectation is one of no mis-steps and no mistakes,” Robinson said. “She will have to carry the weight of all Black women on her shoulders and the world will be watching. I am fully confident that Vice President Harris will meet and exceed the expectations of rational thinking people.”
“Certainly, I know all too well it’s not an easy task being first and I applaud Vice President Harris for demonstrating the mere fact that when aspirations are strong enough superhuman powers to achieve excellence is unrelenting,” Jones said. “More importantly, I extend best wishes to Vice President Kamala Harris in her new role in serving, protecting and leading these United States.”
Robinson calls Harris a role model for the younger generation.
“The barriers that Vice President Harris has broken today is that it gives girls an example of what they could be in this country,” Robinson said.”Land of the free and home of the brave. It let’s my daughters know that Rosa Parks sat on the bus in the Civil Rights Movement so that I can drive the bus as Mayor of Douglasville and VP Harris’s win shows my two daughters Olivia and Ana that they can own the bus company.”