'Qualified and capable’: Local woman, 79, has waited all her life to vote for historic ticket

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While all eyes are on the top of the ticket, there are people looking at other names on the 2020 ballot -- names that, win or lose, are making history.

Names like Kamala Harris, the first black woman on a presidential ticket.

“I just think it’s time for us to realize the potential of African American women,” voter Kathleen Blake said.

Blake told Channel 9 she sees that potential in Harris, the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket, and the woman holding the hopes and dreams of so many Black women.

Blake said she has waited all of her life -- 79 years -- to cast this vote.

"It was like, ‘Yes, we have a woman I can vote for. A woman who is very qualified and capable,’” she said.

Blake went to a segregated school in Bessemer City. She was a debutante and salutatorian, but knew that being Black and a woman meant being overlooked.

“Sometimes, I think that we do a better job than some males in the same position,” she said.

Blake earned a scholarship to Talladega College in Alabama where she became a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority -- the same sorority that Harris joined.

“We pride ourselves on the fact the we are a sisterhood,” she said.

In 1960, Blake cast her first vote for John F. Kennedy -- a winning ticket. She said that back then no party would seriously consider a woman, let alone a Black woman, as a nominee.

“At that time we were still thinking about the men running for that position,” Blake said. “It is historical.”

Though she -- and the nation -- hasn’t gotten answers yet about who won the presidency, Blake told Channel 9 that she has already waited eight decades, so what’s a few days more?

“The night is young as far as politics are concerned,” she said.