The superhero genre has released over 40 blockbuster films since the year 2000. By 2017, only three of those superhero films featured a person of color in the leading role, and just one featured a female lead – DC’s Wonder Woman.
One scene from the film stands out. Diana Prince is in the trenches during WWI, aghast at the suffering surrounding her and Steve Trevor’s refusal to help them.
“We can’t save every person in this war. Besides, it’s not what we came here to do,” Trevor says. “No, but it’s what I’m going to do,” Price replies.
Then she stands up and becomes Wonder Woman. She crosses an uncrossable battlefield and wins an unwinnable fight and frees an entire town from certain death, just because she can.
I cry every time I watch it. Every. Single. Time. The reason it makes me so emotional didn’t strike me until my fourth or fifth viewing. Wonder Woman, this scene in particular, makes me emotional because for the first time, I got to see someone like me be a superhero. That’s all – the pure joy of representation.
Forty films, two decades, one movie. Why am I telling you this? Because when I watched Kamala Harris’ acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, I bawled. Really. Tears streaming down my face as I watched a woman, a woman of color, a daughter of immigrants, accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for Vice President of the United States.
Forty-five presidencies, two hundred and fifty years, one woman. She is the fourth woman and second person of color ever nominated to a major party ticket, and the very first woman of color. This says more about the pervasive racism and sexism in the U.S. than it does about Kamala Harris.
The Biden/Harris ticket was not my first, second, third or even fourth pick in the Democratic race; there were other candidates I liked more, who had policies I thought were better for the country. I have my concerns about Biden’s age and centrism, and Harris’ past as a prosecutor—and centrism.
But still, I cried my eyes out when Harris said, “We will tell them [our children and grandchildren] not just how it felt. We will tell them what we did.” I cried for that same pure joy of representation, from the sheer emotion seeing a woman on that stage elicits in me. Whatever her politics, Harris’ nomination is a historic step in the right direction.
Harris is a more than competent politician who will, to the best of her ability, serve what she believes are the American people’s best interests. There is no doubt in my mind she has the experience and drive to do the job of vice president as well as, if not better than, every white man before her.
When Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election in 2016, one of the many reasons political analysts cited for her loss was that the American people simply were not ready for a woman to be president. And I guess they still aren’t, because none of the six female candidates who ran for president in the primaries—including Harris—won.
But now we have a woman running for vice president for the third time in our country’s history, and I have to say, I really like her chances. I can’t wait to see a woman of color hold the second-highest office in the nation—plus, can you imagine how much fun it will be to watch her debate Mike Pence?