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Friday, November 27, 2020

‘Brown girl, Brown girl’: Renditions of poem celebrating Kamala Harris becoming US VP-elect go viral

Penned by Chicago-base poet Leslé Honoré, the verse is a reflection on the new reality of girls of colour across the US who see Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, occupying the second-highest political post in the country.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 15, 2020 11:48:14 am
kamala harris, brown girl poem, kamala harris brown girl poem, Leslé Honoré brown girl poem, viral videos, us elections 2020, indian express,The "Brown girl" poem celebrates Kamala Harris’ historic VP win and #BlackGirlMagic, the poet said. (Source: Reuters, Leslé Honoré/ Instagram)

The election of Kamala Harris as the first female US Vice-President is a historic moment, undoubtedly. But the vice-president-elect also made history as a person of colour – changing the face of politics and inspiring young girls worldwide. Now, to celebrate her iconic feat, a poem titled ‘Brown girl, Brown girl’ is going viral.

Penned by Chicago-based poet Leslé Honoré, the verse is a reflection on the new reality of girls of colour across the US who see Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, as an inspiration for occupying the second-highest political office in the country. “Brown girl brown girl, What do you see; I see a Vice President, That looks like me; Brown girl brown girl, What do you do; I fought I hoped, I spoke what was true,” reads the poem.

Honoré shared the poem on Instagram alongside a picture taken from video that Harris’s niece, Meena Harris, shared earlier showing the Vice-President-elect talking with Meena’s young daughter about her ability to become president when she grows up.

The poem, which begins with the lines, “Brown girl, brown girl, what do you see,” is a contemporary take on the classic children’s book, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr.

“In the midst of a double pandemic, of everything everyone has been enduring, it was such a huge piece of tangible that I just wanted to acknowledge it and encapsulate it and hold onto that,” she told Good Morning America. “I was just over the moon. I am still tingling thinking about it.”

Honoré’s poem has gone viral and she has been flooded with requests from parents and teachers to allow them to use the poem for little girls to recite. One such rendition using sign language has too gone viral. Honoré shared the video on her Instagram, where she said a mother, Beth Hamilton, reached out to her to see if her daughter Avalyn, who is hearing-impaired, could recite the poem using American Sign Language (ASL).

Earlier, a Brooklyn-based school principal posted a video of students reciting the poem in their classroom. Williams told ABC 7 News that the powerful anthem for an entire generation of little girls is music to her ears. “It just fit right in with the model and vision I have for our school: shine, shine, 399,” Williams said.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” Harris said in her first address to the nation after becoming Vice-President-elect.

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