’Tears started running down’: Kamala Harris’ history-making win inspires millions of women

Grand Strand women weigh in on Kamala Harris' historic moment

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Kamala Harris' history-making win as the projected vice president-elect is inspiring to millions of women across the country, including those right here in Horry County.

Harris is set to be the first woman, as well as the first person of Black and South Asian descent, to hold the second-highest office in the country, breaking a number of barriers and fueling new possibilities for years to come.

“It’s really a moment of celebration for women in America,” said Holley Tankersley, a political analyst and Coastal Carolina University professor.

From her walkout song to Mary J. Blige’s “Work That” Saturday night to her white power suit symbolizing the women’s suffrage movement, Harris represents a new face of political power.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said during her speech.

Those words resonated with women the most, regardless of political party, Tankersly said.

“Because once that glass ceiling is broken, women on both sides, it’s a little easier for them to ascend to higher office,” she said.

Tankersley believes President-elect Joe Biden picked Harris as his running mate to show unity in a time of racial and civil unrest and gratitude to the Black community that’s supported him throughout the years.

“Having a Black woman on the ticket with him would show appreciation, indifference to that part of the Democrat coalition,” Tankersley said.

To Black women, it’s recognition long overdue.

“Tears started running down my eyes. I was so excited,” Alester Pryor, the 2nd Vice-Chair of the Horry County Democratic Party, said.

Harris graduated from Howard University, a historically black college or university (HBCU). She’s a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.

Members of the Mu Iota Omega Chapter of AKA in Horry County said their organization is all about serving and uplifting the community.

“She represents so many things that reflect upon African Americans,” AKA member Genaur Faulk said. “We have come such a long way.”

Cynthia Randall, Connection chair of the Horry County AKA Chapter, said she’s honored to be a part of an organization at the foundation of successful women like Harris.

“She worked very hard,” said Randall. "It was time that we African-American women are recognized for the work that we do and how we prepare ourselves.

While there’s still a long road ahead for women, they said Harris' win inspires future generations to take on the journey.

“So it is possible for this to happen,” Tankersley said. “It’s not just a perpetual loss for women in these races, you know, I know that’s invaluable to young women across the country.”

“I have a granddaughter and a daughter who’s in the service and I think about what it means to them and that’s the most important thing to me,” Pryor said.

The year 2020 marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting women the right to vote.

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