“Indian American Democratic VP nominee has become campaign’s ambassador to the Black community.”
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ ‘surprise’ appearance on Monday night’s Verzuz battle between ’90s R&B stars Brandy and Monica was no accident.
It was part of Joe Biden presidential campaign’s bid to “energize African American voters by embracing the Black Lives Matter movement, while simultaneously reassuring White swing voters that he is not a radical activist,” according to the Washington Post.
“As part of that strategy, Harris has become an ambassador to the Black community — sometimes praising Biden’s racial justice plans, sometimes listening, other times simply urging African Americans to vote,” it said.
During the Brandy-Monica battle, Harris, who made history last month when she became the first Black woman and the first Indian American to join a major party’s national presidential ticket, made a seemingly surprise entry.
“Excitement was building and about 1 million viewers watched live on Instagram,” recalled the Post. “Then Brandy asked Monica to pause, like she was waiting for something.”
RELATED: Kamala Harris makes surprise cameo appearance in Verzuz battle (September 1, 2020)
And a few awkward seconds later, Harris, in a Howard University T-shirt, emerged on-screen and said, “You both have used your voice in such a powerful way, and an extension of our voices is our vote.”
“Brandy jokingly fanned herself, saying, ‘I’m fangirling right now!’ Commenters typed KAMALA in all caps or sent long strings of fire emoji,” the Post noted.
“Twitter exploded with mentions of the cameo, which unfolded in the sort of setting — an R&B battle — that has rarely featured appearances by politicians.”
“The moment highlighted the role Harris has taken on for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign since she became the Democratic vice-presidential nominee,” the Post said.
In the past week, Harris has spoken at the launch of a Black women’s group in Michigan, made a virtual appearance at the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” Commitment March on Washington and held a private call with about 100 Black male leaders, including civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, it said.
Harris’ “appearances are often unannounced and unpublicized — a direct pipeline to Black voters that takes advantage of Harris’s status as an African American woman who shares many of her listeners’ challenges,” the Post said.
Many Black women — including some who were critical of Harris in the primary — are lining up behind her in the face of potential racist or sexist attacks, Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, which promotes women of color in politics, was quoted as saying.
“If you’re attacking her, you’re attacking all of us,” Allison told the Post.
“Not all Black activists are sold on Biden, and Harris has sought to reassure those skeptics,” the Washington daily said.
Last Thursday, in her first solo event as the vice-presidential nominee, Harris addressed those who have suffered from police brutality.
“In a Biden-Harris administration, you will have a seat at the table — in the halls of Congress and in the White House,” she was quoted as saying.
The day before, Harris spoke to the group in Michigan, beginning what the campaign called the Sister-to-Sister mobilization program, an effort to engage Black women to turn out. Essence magazine streamed the event.