February 16, 2017
Brandon I. Brooks
During Black History Month, the achievements of Black men and women are recognized and celebrated, as well as the sacrifices and turmoil faced throughout Black history. This past week, the Los Angeles Sentinel had an opportunity to speak with Senator Kamala Harris about the significance of Black History Month, the Trump Administration and her first 90 days in office.
“It [Black History Month] is a time to recognize and remember the dark parts of history of this country, slavery and everything that came after it,” said Senator Kamala Harris. “It is also a moment in time to celebrate the accomplishments and the contributions that Black people in this country have made not only as Americans and to their fellow Americans, but contributions that have had international and global impact.”
Senator Harris has made history herself after becoming the first Black and the third woman to represent California in the United States Senate. She is also the second Black woman elected to the Senate and the sixth Black United States Senator in the country’s history.
Currently Senator Harris serves on four committees: intelligence, homeland and security, environment and public works and budget.
“As it relates to each of those committees, there have been presidential nominees that have come in for Senate confirmation,” said Senator Harris. “So the work I have been doing in the first week has been to critically examine the background of these nominees and to ask them tough questions about their commitment to issues like civil rights, basic constitutional values such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion.”
Wednesday, February 8, Senator Kamala Harris was able to weigh-in during the senate confirmation, during her speech, she laid out her opposition to President Trump’s pick for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions.
“I am opposing the president’s nominee for attorney general because he has a history of not fighting for civil rights and in fact blocking,” said Senator Harris. “This is a moment in time that is similar to the moment in time my parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. We have seen these moments in our history and we need to recognize, this is one of them and we are currently experiencing it. This is a time for people to be active and to show up and speak out. To write and call people who are in an elected office and to engage.”
Despite Sen. Kamala Harris disapproval, Sessions was approved and confirmed by the Senate to be the attorney general. Sen. Harris took to twitter to provide words of encouragement and activism.
“Appalled Sessions has been confirmed, but we cannot and will not give up on the cause of civil rights. I will fight for you,” said Senator Harris.
During an interview with the Sentinel, Sen. Harris expressed her willingness to fight for the Black community and encourages the public to call, write, or email members of Congress and elected representatives who are serving in D.C. and to tell personal stories about how healthcare has impacted their lives.
“It is the readers of the Sentinel who came out and who voted and supported me,” said Senator Harris. “I am absolutely going to continue to fight and there is no question that I have to continue being a strong and powerful voice to represent the voices of California on issues like civil rights, criminal justice reform and immigration reform. These are critical issues that directly impact people of our state and that’s why I am here, to fight.”
Kimberlee Buck contributed to this article.