DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Neither side can dispute that history was made on Jan. 20, 2021. Stepping away from politics for at least a moment, Kamala Harris isn’t of a political party. She’s a woman, and she’s Asian-American and Black. She’s the first of all three of those to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States.
“I was thinking about myself when she was a little girl. I was thinking about my daughters, my nieces, my students and how representation really does matter,” said law professor April Dawson.
For Dawson, it’s the long-awaited proof of what she was always told.
“You grow up in this country, and people say since you could walk, you can do anything that you want to do,” Dawson said. “But when you don’t see the actuality of that, you don’t quite believe it. But, then to see Kamala Harris be sworn in, it was surreal and it was heartwarming.”
Dawson teaches law at North Carolina Central University in Durham. She, like Harris, graduated from an HBCU.
Dawson, who has served as a political analyst for CBS 17 throughout the election, said the importance of historically Black colleges and universities was made even more clear as Harris took the oath of office.
“When you grow up in society where you’re the minority, where you’re ‘the other,’ to be in an educational space or just any space where you feel completely comfortable and celebrated in your own skin, it is so self-affirming.”
An affirmation, perhaps, for a wounded nation
“My hope is that 50 years from now, we’ll look back and we’ll be able to see a consistent path to our country becoming a better place, a more righteous place,” Dawson said.