Saturday night Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first woman vice president of the United States. Born to Jamaican father and an Indian mother, Harris is a former attorney general of California. She also becomes the first person of Indian origin to hold the national office in the United States.
“This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started,” the newly elected Vice President tweeted on Saturday.
Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in Chennai and moved to the United States to pursue a doctoral degree at University of California Berkeley. “When my mother Shyamala [Gopalan] stepped off a plane in California as a 19-year-old, she didn’t have much in way of belongings but she carried with her lessons from home, including ones she’d learned from her parents,” she said.
Harris’ mother raised her daughters with the understanding the world would see them as Black women, Harris has said, and that is how she describes herself today. She attended Howard University, one of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities, and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s first sorority created by and for Black women. She campaigned regularly at HBCUs and tried to address the concerns of young Black men and women.