The California Senator announces 2020 Presidential run and channels Chisholm’s energy for the push
Sen. Kamala Harris announced her presidential candidacy Monday morning with a logo honoring the woman who came before her: Shirley Chisholm. In January 1972, Chisholm — a Brooklyn, N.Y., native and the daughter of immigrants — submitted her official candidacy for president, becoming both the first woman and the first African-American to run for the presidential nomination of a major party.
While Chisholm ultimately fell short, her contribution did not go unnoticed, earning her a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. Harris, according to her campaign staff, wanted to honor Chisholm (who died in 2005) by using the same block letters and red font that Chisholm used. Harris timed her announcement perfectly — on Martin Luther King Day and in the same week in January that Chisholm announced her candidacy.
The former prosecutor chose yellow and red for her campaign logo in a nod to Chisholm's bid for president with its red and yellow campaign buttons.
Her signs will carry her campaign theme "Kamala Harris for the people," the words that she spoke each time she rose in the courtroom as a prosecutor.
Politics & Prose
Simply put, Shirley Chisholm was a beast.
In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, and she represented New York's 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
Shirley Anita St. Hill was born on November 30, 1924, in Brooklyn, New York. Like most Brooklyn residents, she was from immigrant parents from the Caribbean.
Chisholm began exploring her candidacy in July 1971, and formally announced her presidential bid on January 25, 1972.
In her Presidential announcement, Chisholm describes herself as representative of the people and offered a new articulation of American identity:
"I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the woman's movement of this country, although I am a woman and equally proud of that. I am the candidate of the people and my presence before you symbolizes a new era in American political history."
Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, would be the first woman, the first black woman and the first Indian-American elected to the office.
Harris is the first African-American woman to announce a run for the White House in 2020, and the fourth woman in the field.
Harris' campaign will be headquartered in Baltimore — giving aides an East Coast hub in a racially diverse city that has struggled with wide income disparities — and Oakland, where Harris was born to immigrant parents who came to the US to advance their academic careers.
The Obama Effect
The HOPE poster is the portrait that came to symbolize the historic campaign of President-elect Barack Obama.
The piece was created by Los Angeles–based graphic designer and street artist Shepard Fairey.
Fairey’s Barack Obama “Hope” poster became the iconic campaign image for the first African American president of the United States. Early in 2008, Fairey produced his first Obama portrait, with a stenciled face, visionary upward glance, and the caption “Progress.” In this second version, Fairey repeated the heroic pose and patriotic color scheme, substituting the slogan “Hope.”
The artist’s intention that the image be widely reproduced and “go viral” on the Internet exceeded his greatest expectations. The campaign sold 50,000 official posters; a San Francisco streetwear company produced T-shirts; grassroots organizations disseminated hundreds of thousands of stickers; and a free downloadable version generated countless repetitions. Although the reproductions rarely convey the elegant surface patterning seen in this original collage, they forged an unprecedented and powerful icon for Obama’s historic campaign.
If Senator Harris can mimic the emotional DNA comparable to Obama’s, she will secure a huge advantage in her run for President.