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

Win or lose, Kamala Harris is the first black woman on a presidential 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.

Content Continues Below

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.

Kathleen Blake
Kathleen Blake

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.

Kathleen Blake
Kathleen Blake

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.

BLEXIT: Movement challenges Black voters to think outside the box