It makes sense that the second most powerful person in the world, who is also the most powerful black woman in the world, Vice President Kamala Harris is joining the masses of black women at ESSENCE Fest.
The fireside chat included the Emmy-winning actress – who also played a veep in Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, Vice President—Keke Palmer.
Just over a week after the cancellation of Roe v. Wade, the two joined forces on the ESSENCE Wealth & Power stage on Saturday night to discuss the fragility of our constitutional rights, memes and the first black woman on the Supreme Court. .
The highly anticipated interview was the largest audience the vice president has addressed since the court’s ruling last Friday, officials said.
Palmer kicked off the discussion in front of a large crowd sharing what the two had most in common: the luxury of being a viral meme. Palmer has been a meme a number of times, but the “We did it Joe!” following the presidential victory is one of his favorites online.
Harris was all smiles as she explained the candid moment was captured by her husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff straight after a practice session.
Palmer and Harris then addressed the big GOP elephant in the room: abortion rights. It couldn’t be lost on both, that at ESSENCE Fest in New Orleans, Louisiana, the state was one of 13 “trigger ban” states that instantly banned all abortions. once Roe was knocked down. This means that in the state of Louisiana, even the Vice President of the United States had no reproductive rights or autonomy over her own body.
The Vice President shared that she learned of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade while in Aurora, Illinois with Democratic Representative Lauren Underwood to highlight maternal health issues.
Harris noted that black women’s right to choose is literally a matter of life and death. She said, “Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth, while Indigenous women are twice as likely to die in childbirth.” She also cited that the United States was among one of the worst countries in the world for women’s maternal health.
Palmer asked about those who feel apathetic about the steady regression after moments of historic progress like the inauguration of Obama and Harris and the recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Harris told Palmer, “I’ve done an analysis of states attacking women’s right to choose and states attacking suffrage, and there’s an interesting intersection. At least 11 states are doing both at the same time.
She paraphrased civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, saying the fight for civil rights must be fought and won in every generation.