One day before the Associated Press and other media outlets called the 2020 presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden, San Francisco Sun-Reporter Publisher Amelia Ashley-Ward communicated with her longtime homegirl, Sen. Kamala Harris.
“I told her, ‘It had to be you,’” said Ashley-Ward, whose more than 76-year-old newspaper, the Sun-Reporter, is among the oldest in the 230-plus-member Black Press of America.
As she had done so many times in her nearly two-decade friendship with Ashley-Ward, Harris quickly responded: “We’ve been on this journey for a long time. Thank you, Sister Amelia, love you very much,” the vice president-elect responded.
Ashley-Ward proudly says she had Harris’ back since the renowned former district attorney and California senator began her glass ceiling-shattering political career.
Harris wasn’t a household name, but all that mattered to Ashley Ward was that she was a sister with immense talent and on the rise.
“I gave up a close friendship with her former boss in the district attorney’s office to support Kamala,” Ashley-Ward told Black Press USA.
“People were saying that they didn’t really know her. Well, she’s definitely a sister, and she’s brilliant, she’s warm, she’s easy to talk to, she’s nurturing, she doesn’t back down, and she’s fearless.”
On Saturday, when Joe Biden and Sen. Harris claimed their status as president-elect and vice president-elect, Ashley-Ward sat and reflected joyfully inside a San Francisco beauty salon.
“I cried, and there were three or four other women there who jumped for joy,” recalled Ashley-Ward, who, by her association with Vice President-elect Harris, has become somewhat of a celebrity.
The New York Times has been among the outlets that have called Ashley-Ward to gain insight into Harris.
A longtime member of the Black Press and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Ashley-Ward formally introduced Harris to her Black Press family in 2018.
That year, Harris received the honor as the NNPA’s 2018 Newsmaker of the Year Award during Black Press Week in Washington, D.C.
Ashley-Ward escorted her friend into a ballroom to accept the award.
“In all of my years covering news in our community, Sen. Harris has been one of the smartest, most fearless, steadfast and caring politicians that I have come to know,” Ashley-Ward stated during the ceremony.
“She has a lot to offer the world. We are so fortunate to have her advocating on our behalf.”
Ashley-Ward has never been shy about her endorsement of Harris.
The Senator and former District Attorney often checked-in with Ashley-Ward from time to time.
“It’s important that the Black Press is not left out of this historic occasion,” Ashley-Ward remarked.
“We have to make sure that people know that she’s of the Black community. Black women helped to elect her, and I’ve been with her from the very beginning with the Black Press.
“I was the first newspaper, a Black newspaper, to endorse her when no one believed in her. It’s always been the Black women. As I told her, it had to be you. I love you, Madame Vice President. That felt good to say.”