To ascertain the potential for a vice-presidency to make a difference, one need look no further than Joseph Robinette Biden jr.
Barack Obama's Vice-President for eight years will rise beyond that position tomorrow morning when he is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
Biden's VP, Kamala Harris, is already considered the frontrunner for the 2024 Democratic presidential primary, on her way to being the first woman president, and the first of East Asian descent.
With a mother from India and her father from Jamaica, Harris was raised in California as a Black child. Her parents divorced when she was 7 and when she and her sister Maya visited their father in Palo Alto on weekends, other children were not allowed to play with them because they were Black.
One of her childhood recollections has been questioned for veracity, a "borrowed" memory of asking for "fweedom" as a toddler. However, it is evident Harris has lived the inequality which stains the Land of the Free and frustrates the estimated 40 million black Americans to this day.
Associated Press reports the resiliency, culture and heroism of Black Americans and the African diaspora will be the central theme of a virtual event today that will celebrate the nation's diversity on the night before the inauguration.
Harris is scheduled to speak at the inauguration eve event in an address called "We Are One" highlighting the historic nature of being the first woman to become US vice-president.
Black voters nationwide helped deliver Biden's presidency, overwhelmingly supporting him from the start of his White House bid. Black-led organising work across the nation mobilised voters of colour and contributed to historic turnout in key battleground states.
In all, there are five planned days of programming under the inaugural's theme of "America United".
The inauguration itself will look vastly different than previous ceremonies, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and heightened security concerns after a mob of pro-Trump extremists violently breached the US Capitol two weeks ago.
Shortly before 9am tomorrow morning (NZ time) Harris is due to be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, herself the first Hispanic and Latina member of the Court.
The act will be more than symbolic to the downtrodden in the divided states and cities, many of which have hosted angry Black Lives Matter protests over the past year. It will be tangible evidence the change that Martin Luther King Jr dreamed of and Sam Cooke sang about, has indeed come.
Yesterday, two days out from the inauguration, Biden and Harris pitched in on Martin Luther King Jr Day service projects in Philadelphia.
In the parking lot of Philabundance, an organisation distributing food to those in need, the pair and their partners helped fill about 150 boxes with fresh fruit and non-perishables. More pitching in will be needed, particularly on policies which can make a difference to communities that were already struggling before the pandemic rampaged through.
Where Obama's famous wood-cut style posters famously offered hope to the US in 2008, Harris now offers healing in 2021.