The half-Jamaican, half-Indian woman who has become the latest buzz of the town is no other than Senator Kamala Harris. Surpassing countless expectations, the enthusiastic and compassionate Senator has risen to become one of the most important women in America today. Kamala Harris is the first woman to be elected attorney-general in California, the first black woman to be California’s district attorney, the first Indian-American senator, and now the first Asian-American to be selected in a vice-presidential race under a significant political party. A woman with so many firsts on her shelf of achievements excites us, and so we are more than intrigued to share everything we think you need to know about the trailblazing Kamala Harris.
Her Early Life
Her parents, Donald Harris (Jamaican) and Shyamala Gopalan (Indian) were immigrants in the United States. Donald was an economics scholar, and Shyamala was studying endocrinology and nutrition. The two bonded instantly over a shared passion for justice. The couple birthed Kamala Devi Harris on October 20, 1964, in California. They often took young Harris along in a stroller for civil rights protests. She was soon followed by a sister, Maya, who is two years younger than she is. The couple divorced when Harris was 7.
Her mother, Shyamala, raised the sisters in Berkeley. As a child, Harris often visited India. Her grandfather was a high ranking official in the government who joined in the fight for Indian independence. Her grandmother was an activist who believed in women’s rights. We can safely say that Harris grew up in a justice-loving family. In her first grade, Harris attended Thousand Oaks Elementary School, but her mom soon got a teaching job in Montreal, where she attended middle school. She furthered her education at Howard University, Washington, D.C., where she double-majored in political science and economics in 1986. After that, she studied law at the University of California, Hastings College.
Work, Politics, and Marriage
After law school, Harris began her career in the criminal justice system in Oakland, California. She joined the prosecutor’s office in Alameda County as an Assistant District Attorney. In 2003, Harris ran against Terrence Hallinan for the post of San Francisco District Attorney. She emerged victoriously and became the first black woman to be elected District Attorney in the city. In 2010, she ran against Steve Cooley for California Attorney General. Harris was declared the winner by a margin of less than 1%. She gained attention for her sharp questioning skills and questioned officials like Jeff Sessions, Bill Barr and Brett Kavanaugh.
Harris’s political life had begun since her early prosecutor days. From winning the two attorney positions, she had experienced a fair share of elections. And in those years, had gathered influential friends. In 2015, she was recruited to run for the U.S. Senate seat, which she accepted. She contested against Loretta Sanchez, a fellow Democrat, and won. She was known as the toughest interrogator in the senate because of her years as a prosecutor. In January 2019, she announced her intention to run for the presidency under the Democratic Party. She later dropped out due to some circumstances. Harris, however, continued to build her political profile, which led Joe Biden to choose her as his vice-presidential running mate.
As a married woman, Senator Harris is holding her own and is quite successful. Harris met her husband Douglas Emhoff on a blind date in 2013. They got married on August 22, 2014, in a private ceremony. Douglas has two kids from a previous relationship who both had no problem bonding with their stepmother. The kids coined an affectionate term for her ‘Momala,’ and she loves them dearly. Her husband, a United States lawyer, is also her biggest cheerleader. He loves her to bits and never fails to show it in his social media accounts. In our opinion, Kamala Harris is doing a great job at toggling all areas of her life.
Her Major Life Events
While she served as an Assistant District Attorney in Alameda County, Harris tackled prostitution in the city and changed law enforcement’s approach to see the girls as victims instead of sex selling criminals. She also had a noteworthy increase in criminal conviction rate from 52-67% as the District Attorney in San Francisco. She was named one of California’s top 75 women litigators by The Daily Journal and was given the Thurgood Marshall award, just to mention a few. On August 11, 2020, Joseph Biden announced her as his vice-presidential running mate for the 2020 election
What Does Senator Harris Do for Fun?
Outside of her professional life, Kamala Harris engages in several extracurricular activities. She enjoys cooking for herself and her family during her spare time. She also has an exceptional taste in music that she enjoys listening too. Plus she is the author of 3 empowering books: “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey”, “Superheroes Are Everywhere”, and “Smart on Crime”.
On a Final Note
No matter the outcome of the elections, Senator Harris remains a high profile woman of color who has made and is still making her mark in the United States. She’s a goal-getter, wife, and mother who is breaking societal and generational boundaries.