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‘Fully Erased’: With Harris’ Rise, There Are No Black Women In The Senate

On the day that California Gov. Gavin Newsom named Kamala Harris’ replacement in the U.S. Senate, Molly Watson jumped on a call with other organizers and the two Black women in Congress whom they had urged Newsom to appoint to the seat instead.

It was an emotional conversation, in which Watson said she struggled to hold back tears.

“It cut pretty deep knowing that we were going to be fully erased from the Senate,” said Watson, of the progressive group Courage California.

While the Democratic Party is in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, there is also a new fight playing out over representation. There are now no Black women in the Senate after an election cycle with key victories powered by Black women. It has turned a moment of triumph for many Black women thrilled to see Harris make a historic ascent to the vice presidency into something more bittersweet.

“Everybody else is represented in the U.S. Senate except for us, period,” said Watson

February 1, 2021 | NPR | Juana Summers