Kamala, King, and the Bend Toward Justice

January 22, 2019 | Swanee Hunt

Sen. Kamala Harris’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day announcement that she is running for president puts the number of women who are competing or have declared exploratory committees at four. In defiance of the norm, most of the high-profile candidates bear little resemblance to the 45 presidents in US history.

Harris, in particular, gives us a glimpse at a new reality — a leader who embodies the convergence of race and gender in America. Consequently, this moment is more than a milestone — it’s a ground-gripping convulsion.

Race and gender causes have long had a love-hate relationship. The struggle between male abolitionists and women’s suffrage campaigners came into focus 150 years ago. Despite their sacrifices as they supported the vote for black men, women were shunned by male leaders of the abolition movement.

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