Oprah Winfrey Says Kamala Harris’ Victory Was Of “Extraordinary” Significance For Women Of Colour

"I felt like democracy was on a cliff, and Black women helped pull it back from the edge"

It’s safe to say that Kamala Harris‘ victory as the first female and the first woman of colour to be elected Vice President in the U.S. was one of the most influential moments in history.

And while celebrities and civilians alike celebrated the monumental event, as did Oprah Winfrey. However, she’s remained fairly tight-lipped on the topic, until now.

Speaking to People magazine, Oprah shared her thoughts on the Biden-Harris’ win and spoke of the pivotal role that Black female voters played in delivering that victory. Recalling when she first heard the news, she revealed:

“I knew something must have happened because my phone started going off. So I turned on the TV on Saturday and watched Gayle,” Oprah said,  referring to her longtime best friend Gayle King who hosts CBS This Morning.

“I felt like democracy was on a cliff, and Black women helped pull it back from the edge,” Oprah said.

In the recent U.S. election, there was a 90 percent rate of Democratic voters who were Black women, according to exit polls. And thanks to incredible leaders—including Michelle Obama and Stacey Abrams and their initiatives Fair Fight and When We All Vote, among others—their diligence was pivotal in encouraging voter turnout which made all the difference once the votes were counted.

Similarly, Oprah’s work with her Own Your Vote campaign has been praised for its efforts come election time.

“We are so delighted to see that Black women literally changed this country. They came out to vote in Milwaukee, Atlanta, Philadelphia and they swung this election,” she said. “We were honoured to play a part in that.”

Thanks to Oprah’s campaign, it saw an unexpected exchange with the now President-Elect, Joe Biden. Weeks before the election, he called Oprah to thank her for her help in getting out the vote—with a phone call that lasted 27 minutes.

“I kept thinking, ‘He’s going to ask for something.’ I was waiting. Twenty-seven minutes later, it was just a thank you for what you’re doing in terms of voting support and calling people,” she said. “I could not believe it that this man, with everything going on, had 27 minutes to call. My respect for Joe Biden went tenfold over that.”

And when it came to the significance behind Kamala’s win specifically, Oprah said, “I think what she means for women of the world is so extraordinary. For women here in the United States, we can’t even measure it, because to see someone who looks like you in this role, you see what’s possible for yourself. Period.” She added, “And the generational impact: You can’t put a price on it. You can’t put a measurement on it.”

A longtime friend and mentor to Oprah, famous poet and author Maya Angelou spent her life and her work inspiring generations of women, particularly women of colour, who struggle to overcome prejudice, discrimination and abuse.

Speaking of Angelou, Oprah concluded by wishing that she were still alive to witness history be made. “I was thinking the other day, ‘I wish Maya were alive to see it,'” Oprah said.

“But maybe she’s working it on the other side. Because there’s no way to measure what the election of Kamala Harris means for all women, all colours, everywhere.”

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