By Zabryan Grant
Black excellence has risen to its highest peak during these difficult times of this pandemic.
A child of immigrants, student leader, San Francisco district attorney, California attorney general and U.S. senator, Kamala Harris’ groundbreaking path to the vice presidency displayed the true meaning of breaking barriers.
Harris made history as the nation’s first female, first Black and African American and first Asian-American vice president.
Harris was born in Oakland, California, to immigrant parents.
Her father was Jamaican born and her mother was born in India. Harris grew up with a “stroller-eye view of the civil rights movement” due to her parents being active in protests in the 1960s. They took her to rallies and demonstrations.
“I grew up in a hot spot of the civil rights
movement,” Harris told The Washing-
ton Post. “But that civil rights movement involved Blacks, it involved Jews, it involved Asians, it involved Chicanos, it involved a multitude of people who were aware that there were laws that were not equally applied to all people.”
Harris’ childhood shaped her into who she is today, not just due to the fact that she is a female but also that she is African American. Her upbringing in quote “Black America” made her aware of the certain things that some may not be able to understand.
“We have to stop seeing issues and people through a plate-glass window as though we were one-dimensional,” Harris told the Post in February 2019. “Instead, we have to see that most people exist through a prism and they are a sum of many factors.”
With Harris being Indian as well, both of her nationalities carry equal weight.
“My mother had a saying: ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things but make sure you’re not the last,” Harris has said.
Harris attended Howard University, a historically Black college founded in 1867. It is one of the five largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation. The private institute is where Harris embraced her Black identity.
The campus during that time was of cauldron of activism and Black pride. Harris graduated with a degree in political science and economics.
Harris returned to California to attend law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Graduating with her degree in law in 1989 from Hastings, she eventually had the opportunity to work as a district attorney in Oakland, where she obtained a reputation of seriousness as she prosecuted cases of sexual abuse, drug trafficking and gang violence.
Her pathway went from being district attorney to California attorney general and to
U.S senator. She then announced that she was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
Harris ended up dropping out of the race. In the meantime, Harris became a leading advocate for social-justice reform following the May 2020 death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota. As the country witnessed her courage and leadership, Democrats realized it too.
They then called on Biden, the party’s presumptive nominee, to select an African American woman as his vice presidential running mate.
“I accept your nomination,” Harris said during her Aug. 19, 2020, speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Harris started her own style and inspired women to wear pearls and Chuck Taylor sneakers due to her being the first woman to earn the vice presidency.
On Nov. 7, 2020, Biden and Harris were declared the election winners after four cliff-hanging days of counting votes.
Finally, on January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris took the oath of office as vice president.
Madame Vice President inspired so many by showing them anything is possible when you really put your mind and dedication to it.