Kamala Harris Makes History As She Is Sworn In to Her Role As Vice PresidentJan 20, 2021 08:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland
Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California. Her father, Dr. Donald J. Harris is Jamaican, and her mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan is Indian. Her parents were both academics working in higher education and cancer research. Kamala Harris also has a younger sister named Maya now works in public policy.
Kamala grew up in a mostly Black area of Berkeley, California, but was bussed to a different area for school because of a desegregation project. In her early years, she attended both an African American church and a Hindu church.
After her parents divorce, Kamala and her sister spent weekends with their father in Palo Alto, but moved to Montreal and attended a French-speaking school, when their mother was offered a research position in the area.
As a child, she visited family in Jamaica and India on multiple occasions and was inspired by the work of her grandfather, an Indian diplomat and civil servant. Kamala Harris eventually attended Howard University where she graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 1986. Shortly after, she attended Hastings College where she earned her law degree in 1989.
After graduation, she first worked as deputy district attorney, but quickly rose through the ranks becoming DA. After completing two terms as District Attorney for San Francisco, she was elected as the first African American and the first woman Attorney General of California. She gained a reputation for being tough, and her refusal to defend Proposition 8 (2008), which banned same-sex marriage in the state, helped lead to it being overturned in 2013. In 2009, she published her first book, Smart on Crime, which was co-written with Joan O’C. Hamilton.
In 2012, Harris climbed the political staircase by delivering a memorable address at the Democratic National Convention. She was recruited to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer. In early 2015, Harris announced her candidacy, and through her campaign, called for immigration and criminal-justice reforms, protection of women’s reproductive rights, and an increase to the minimum wage. She won her seat in the 2016 election.
In 2017, when she took office, Harris served on both the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee. During her time on the judiciary committee, Harris was known for her prosecutorial style when it came to questioning witnesses. This prosecutorial style often drew criticism from her Republican counterparts, specifically in the questioning of the U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions in regard to Russian Interference during the 2016 election.
She has also introduced and cosponsored legislation addressing a number of topics including, raising wages for working people, reforming our broken criminal justice system, addressing the epidemic of substance abuse, supporting veterans and military families, expanding access to childcare for working parents,and making healthcare a right for all Americans.
In January 2019, Harris released her second book, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, and shortly after, she announced that she would be seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Early on in her campaign, Kamala Harris received loads of support and was a leading contender, but later in the year, she dropped in the polls, eventually dropping out of the race in December.
Despite the end of her presidential campaign, she stayed in the spotlight. She became one of the most outspoken members of the Senate in reference to the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
Kamala Harris was named as Joe Biden’s running mate in August of 2020, appeasing those in the Democratic party who had been rallying for a woman of color. This made her the first African American woman to be on a major party’s national ticket.
In November 2020, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. Since the election, there have been a number of republicans and Trump supporters, including the President himself, who have claimed that this was a fraudulent election, but there has been no evidence to support this.
Today, January 20th 2021, Madame Vice President Harris Kamala Harris makes history, yet again, as the first African American woman to hold the position, and the world watches as she maintains her strength in leading our country.