Kamala Harris is the current Vice President of the United States, with Joe Biden as the 46th United States President. She is the 1st female and the 1st black woman to hold such a high-ranked office position. Before her inauguration on January 20th, 2021, the Capitol was under a serious siege. During her inauguration speech, Kamala encouraged little girls to believe in themselves and aspire to hold such positions someday in the future. Today, we will highlight things that many people do not know about Kamala Harris. However, before highlighting them, we must briefly describe the current female Vice President of the United States.
About Kamala Harris
Kamala was born in Oakland (California) on October 20th, 1964. Kamala Harris’ mother is called Shyamala Gopalan. Shyamala Gopalan, a biologist, had arrived in the United States from Tamil Nadu in India in 1958 (Indian immigrant). Gopalan got her Ph.D. in 1964. Donald Harris, Harris’ dad, is a Stanford University professor who arrived in the United States from British Jamaica in 1961 (Jamaican immigrant). He received his Ph.D. in economics in 1966. Kamala Harris and Maya, her younger sister, resided or lived in Berkeley (California).
When Kamala started Kindergarten, the Thousand Oaks Elementary School, a public learning institution in a more flourishing neighborhood in northern Berkeley, bused her as part of Berkeley’s comprehensive desegregation program. The Harris girls and their mother frequently visited a close African-American cultural center. Their mother introduced them to the Hinduism faith and took them to a Hindu temple. Kamala Harris says that P.V. Gopalan, her maternal grandfather, has strongly influenced her in several aspects. Kamala Harris has remained in touch with her Indian relatives (aunts and uncles) throughout her adult life. Kamala has also visited her dad’s family in Jamaica.
Later in 1972, the parents of Kamala divorced when she was only seven years old. When she was twelve years old, Kamala Harris and her younger sister moved with their mum to Montreal (Quebec), where Gopalan had accepted a research and teaching position at the McGill University-affiliated Jewish General Hospital.
Kamala Harris went to a French-speaking primary school (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges), then FACE School, and then Westmount High School in Quebec, graduating in 1981. In 1982, after high School, Kamala Harris went to Howard University, a historically black learning institution or University in Washington D.C. While at Howard, Kamala Harris interned as a mailroom clerk for California Senator Alan Cranston. She also chaired the economics society and led the debate group. Kamala Harris joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
AKA or the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the 1st intercollegiate historically black American Greek-lettered sorority. Its founders founded the organization on five tenets. They include the cultivation and encouragement of high ethical and scholastic standards and promoting unity and friendship among college women. Other principles are studying and helping ease issues or problems regarding women and girls to enhance their social stature, maintain a progressive interest in college life, and be of service to everyone. On January 15th, 1908, the sorority came into existence at Howard University through 16 students that Ethel Hedgeman Lyle led. Establishing a sorority broke the barrier for black American women in areas where they had little or no power or authority because of a lack of opportunities for women and minorities in the 20th century.
Kamala joining a sorority group gives us further evidence that she had a strong drive for women’s empowerment.
Kamala Harris graduated from Howard in 1986 with a degree in economics and political science. Later, Kamala Harris returned to California to attend law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law through its LEOP (Legal Education Opportunity Program). While at UC Hastings, Kamala Harris served as President of its chapter of the Black Law Students Association. Harris graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1989 and qualified for the California Bar in June 1990.
The year that Kamala qualified for the California Bar in the same year that she became a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County (California), where people described her as an able prosecutor on the way up. Four years later (1994), Willie Brown, the California Assembly Speaker, appointed Kamala to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and then to the California Medical Assistance Commission. During the same year, Kamala took a 6-month leave of absence from her tasks and afterward resumed as a prosecutor during the period she sat on the boards.
In February 1998, Terence Hallinan, San Francisco District Attorney, recruited Kamala as an Assistant District Attorney. There, she became the Career Criminal Division chief, supervising more than two attorneys, where she prosecuted burglary, homicide, robbery, and sexual assault cases. In August 2000, Kamala Harris took work at San Francisco City Hall, working for Louise Renne, the City Attorney. Kamala ran the Family and Children’s Services Division, representing neglect and child abuse cases. Louise Renne endorsed Kamala during her D.A. campaign.
The Personal Life of Kamala
Kamala met Attorney Dough Emhoff, her husband, through a mutual ally who set up Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff on a blind date in 2013. Doug Emhoff was an entertainment lawyer who became partner-in-charge at Venable LLP’S L.A. (Los Angeles) office. Kamala Harris and Dough Emhoff married on August 22nd, 2014, in Santa Barbara (California). Kamala Harris is a stepmother to Emhoff’s two children, Ella and Cole, from his previous marriage to Kerstin Emhoff, a film producer.
According to reports, Kamala takes her ‘Momala’ role seriously. The term ‘Momala’ came after Kamala, and the kids agreed not to use the term stepmom. From this, we can learn that Kamala Harris is an open-minded woman and takes her role as a ‘mum’ to the step kids very seriously despite having a larger task of doing the state’s duties.
As of August 2019, Kamala Harris and her husband had an estimated net worth of $5.8m. Kamala Harris is a multi-racial American and a Baptist, holding membership of the 3rd Baptist Church of San Francisco. Maya, her sister, is a lawyer and MSNBC political analyst. Kamala Harris has a brother-in-law called Tony West, a general counsel of Uber and a former U.S. Department of Justice senior official. Kamala Harris’ niece Meena is the Phenomenal Women Action Campaign founder and former head of leadership and Uber strategy.
After discussing Kamala Harris, I believe it is also vital to mention those things that people do not know very well concerning the powerful black woman Harris.
Kamala Harris and Beau Biden were Allies
Beau Biden is the former Attorney General of Delaware. He is also the late son of President Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President from 2009 to 2017 under Barrack Obama. Beau Biden died of brain cancer. His connection to Kamala is through friendship that bore fruits by Kamala meeting with Joe Biden and becoming his running mate.
Kamala Harris has Accomplished Several Firsts in California
Many people do not know that from 2004 to 2010, Kamala Harris has served as the 1st woman District Attorney in San Francisco’s history. Kamala Harris is also the 1st black American woman and South Asian American woman in California to hold the office. Besides, people elected Kamala Harris as the 1st African American and the 1st woman to serve as California’s Attorney General.
Kamala’s name is a nod to her Indian Heritage
Gopalan gave her daughter the name Kamala which means ‘lotus; in Sanskrit. Kamala Harris’s middle name, Devi, translates to ‘goddess’ in Sanskrit, another tribute to the Hindu faith. In 2004, Kamala’s mum told the Los Angeles Times that a culture that worships female deities produces strong women.
Kamala Harris has a History of Activism
When she was thirteen, Kamala and her sister (Maya) led a protest or a demonstration in front of their Montreal apartment building to protest the policy that prohibited children from playing on the lawn. The owners finally reversed the policy.
Kamala Harris Loves to Cook
Kamala told the Glamour Interview that her mother used to say that she needed to learn how to cook since she loved good food. Kamala shares her recipes, culinary skills, and love for Sunday dinners on social media.
In 2019, Kamala and Mindy Kaling, an actress, made masala dosa together in a campaign video. Kamala Harris also taught Senator Mark Warner how to make a tuna melt in an online video.
Kamala Harris is an Avid Reader
The Book Riot once requested Kamala to list her favorite books or the influential books in her life. She listed more than 3. They are: ‘Native Son’ by Richard Wright, ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini, ‘The Joy Luck Club’ by Amy Tan, ‘Song of Solomon’ by Toni Morrison (covered in the last article) and ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis.
Kamala Harris has written 3 Books
Kamala has written some of the books are ‘Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer,’ ‘The Truths We Hold: An American Journey’ and a children’s book called ‘Superheroes Are Everywhere.’ ‘Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer’ focuses on criminal justice reform. ‘The Truths We Hold: An American Journey’ included a blend of career highlights and personal philosophy. The Book’ Superheroes Are Everywhere’ are for children between the age of 3 to 7. The book is essential as it is excellent empowerment to children. Kamala tells the children that heroism is more about character and choice than capes.