January 20, 2021, will undoubtedly be a day that goes down in American history. On days like today, every decision matters from the poems read, songs sung, and…outfits worn. Initially, it seems as though clothing would be but a flicker in the minds of those taking on the responsibility to protect and serve our country. However, the outfits broadcasted to the millions of Americans watching from their homes communicate more than you may think.
So, why did Vice President Kamala Harris decide to wear purple today? Why not her party's color of blue or, like Michelle Obama, a crisp and patriotic red?
In 1920, women marched for the right to vote. In 2021, Kamala Harris is making history as the first female Vice President of the United States. She stands in this position acknowledging the fight of women before her, once stating, "My mother, Shyamala, raised my sister Maya and me to believe it was up to us, and every generation of Americans, to keep on marching."
In the early 20th century, Purple became an official color of the Suffragette movement. According to an article in the foundational Feminist Newspaper, "The Suffragist", "Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause."
Purple wasn't only the color of the suffragette movement but a symbol of the National Association of Colored Women (NACWC), founded in 1896. Their objective is as follows: "The National Association of Colored Women's Clubs are women of color dedicated to uplifting women, children, families, the home and the community through service, community education, scholarship assistance and the promotion of racial harmony among all people so that those we serve are better able to take their proper and rightful place in society as citizens, community leaders, parents, and family members."
Knowing this, it makes sense that Harris would want to pay homage to the fight of those who came before her and encourage those who will come after her.
However, there could be an additional reason for the dawning of her regal purple apparel. Purple is, quite literally, the combination of red and blue. Perhaps Kamala also wanted to be a symbol of unity — a value to all Americans, no matter their right or left swinging affiliation.
Regardless of if you are a Republican or a Democrat, it is important to remember our history and support our leaders. I am personally grateful for how far we have progressed as a country. I am hopeful that we will continue being a nation that believes in equality, life, liberty, and happiness for all Americans.
In the words of our new Vice President, "my mother would say, 'Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.'"