Sometimes imagery can fuel the imagination. This week we were introduced to the notion that for the first time in history, the image of the Vice Presidency could be changed in unprecedented fashion. Senator Kamala Harris has been introduced as Joe Biden’s running mate, and regardless of political ideologies, we can celebrate the milestone that a woman of color has been nominated as the Vice President of the United States of America. Remember this thought, “Sometimes imagery can fuel the imagination”
I was raised by my grandparents...and some days my grandmother would have to take me to work with her. She cleaned houses for a living. I distinctly remember a time when I was in 3rd grade. I was introduced to the couple who owned the house that she cleaned. From my perspective, it was a huge ... almost palatial home.
Anyway, Granny introduces me to the couple. “This is my baby boy”, she says. They immediately began to engage with me, asking me questions. To the point where the husband exclaimed, “Fermer (that was her name), your boy can one day be the president of the United States! “
Fast forward two weeks later, still in 3rd grade and I’m sitting at my desk wondering if the man was serious. I look up and I see around the top of the classroom wall all of the men who ever served as POTUS, and my heart sank. Dozens of Presidents and all were older white men. I thought, “There is no way anyone that looks like me will ever be able to sit there”.
Then, President Obama. And for the first time I thought, “Now we can tell young black kids with meaning ... that one day you CAN be the POTUS” .... (as opposed to an athlete, rapper, or one of the negative stereotypes that seem to follow us throughout cinematic presentation.) Why? Because
Imagery sometimes can fuel imagination.
I have an 11-year-old daughter. I do all we can to show her that the world can’t stop her, that she has a gift inside of her that will enable her to achieve things we’ve only imagined. But then there is the imagery issue...Until now!
Enter Kamala Harris. I’m going to be able to show my daughter what this woman has achieved and may achieve. Some are reading this and saying with an eye roll, “It’s not about race”, and you’re right .... it’s not about race, not in the way many would want it to be about. However, it is about showing Kayla with tangible proof that she can aspire and achieve.
I intentionally didn’t include my political beliefs, so no need to present yours. This isn’t an endorsement of her, nor is it an indictment of her.
This is a shared thought of gratitude. Because as of this week, I have been able to show my daughter who Kamala Harris is and pray that this imagery can fuel her imagination.