On Jan. 20, when Kamala Harris becomes Vice-President of the United States, she will be surrounded by family, friends, and history.
One friend will be Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina appointed to the Supreme Court, and chosen by Harris to administer the oath of office. Sotomayor and Harris are both former prosecutors.
History will be in the form of two Bibles that hold special meaning for Harris. One was owned by the late Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice, and like Harris, a graduate of Howard University.
In a video shared on social media in July 2020, Harris said that, “Thurgood Marshall and the work that he did is … really one of the main reasons I wanted to be a lawyer. Thurgood was a fighter, he was a boxer in the courtroom.”
The other Bible belongs to Regina Shelton, a Harris family friend, who the vice president-elect calls a second mother to her and her sister, Maya.
Harris wrote about Shelton in a 2019 essay. “In office and into the fight, I carry Mrs. Shelton with me always. Mrs. Shelton would bring her Bible to church every Sunday. Sitting alongside her, I was introduced to the teachings of that Bible.”
In terms of family, Harris will be joined by her mother. In a recent interview, Harris was asked what she would be thinking about when she takes the oath of office.
“I will be thinking about my mother, who’s looking down from heaven,” she said. “I will be thinking of all the people who are counting on us to lead.”
Sources: CBC.CA, INAUGURAL.SENATE.GOV, NPR.ORG, VOGUE.COM