This post was written by Helen Hope Kimbrough, an author, literacy advocate, and racial equity champion. She serves as the Second Vice Chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. It was first published as a blog post on the Library’s website.
I recall my first inaugural experience in 2009. My entire family (parents, sister, cousins, aunts, and uncles) traveled to Washington, DC to attend special events and witness President Barack Obama take the Oath of Office with First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters, Malia and Sasha. As a mom, it was important to have my sons experience this historic moment and see a President who looked like them. As a family, we also knew the importance of sharing in this special time together particularly for our youngest generation who were filled with awe and excitement.
Fast forward to Inauguration Day 2021. We reminisced and re-lived how we felt then and rejoiced again as we watched Madam Vice President Kamala Harris take her Oath of Office surrounded by her beautiful family. Although we were unable to gather in person, this occasion was enormous in nature with history being reshaped once again.
Just like my sons got to see their reflection in President Obama, now girls can see their reflection in Vice President Harris proving that the narrative can change. What a sight to behold! What a fervent expression of how every child can feel and see unlimited possibilities.
Historically, Black, brown, and indigenous people have often been relegated and made to feel that moments like this are reserved for just a few. Not so, I declare! These moments are for ALL.