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'Unfinished business': Kamala Harris speaks on responsibility as first Black Woman VP candidate

Washington DC, US: In her first extensive interview since being tapped as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris emphasized Friday there was "a lot of work to do" for both women and African-Americans.

Harris is the first Black woman on a major-party U.S. presidential ticket. The 55-year-old U.S. senator from California, who made her own run for the White House, is also the first Asian-American on a major presidential ticket. Her parents were immigrants, her mother from India and her father from Jamaica. Harris made the comments in an interview from Biden's home state Delaware with Errin Haines, editor-at-large for the the 19th*, a nonprofit news organization hosting a summit marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.
In the interview, Harris said she embraced her role as the first woman of color to appear on a major party ticket. "There's a lot to be to celebrate in terms of the accomplishment," she said. "But also it should motivate us to also be clear-eyed about what yet has to be done in the unfinished business."

Harris emphasized healthcare, child care, and jobs were some of the issues that would spur high voter turnout among Black women. Four years ago, the first dip in Black voter turnout in 20 years contributed to Democrat Hillary Clinton's upset loss to Donald Trump in the presidential election.

"When you have one ticket that can say the phrase, 'Black Lives Matter', and another who has been full-time sowing hate and division in our country, those are the things that are going to motivate Black women to vote," she said. "There will be a point of pride. I don't want to have any false modesty about a Black woman being on the ticket. But it takes more than just that to motivate Black women to vote."

With social unrest over racial injustice rocking the country for months since the death in custody of an African-American man, George Floyd - after a police officer knelt on his neck for about nine minutes - Biden was under pressure to select a Black woman as his running mate.
She became only the second Black female U.S. senator in history when elected in 2016 and will be relied on to help mobilize African-Americans, the Democratic Party's most loyal constituency. Harris, a former prosecutor and state attorney general in California, is known for her sometimes aggressive questioning style in the Senate.

As a presidential candidate, she took Biden to task in a nationally televised debate over his past stances on mandatory busing for students as a means to desegregate schools. The choice of a running mate has added significance for Biden, 77, who would be the oldest person to become president if he is elected.

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