Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States (scaled-e1676668685890.webp)

Women and Adversity:
Kamala Harris
Vice President of the United States

It’s logical for me to feature a black woman during February, which is Black History Month. Since I’ve been writing about women politicians for the last several months, I have to include the most senior of Black women politicians in the United States: Kamala Harris, our vice president. Several people continue to pronounce her name with the accent on the second syllable of her name, but it is on the first, Ka⸍ma la. Harris is the first woman vice president and the first Black vice president.

In her powerful speech in Munich, Germany February 18, she said the U.S. concluded that Russia has committed crimes against humanity in its invasion of Ukraine and  people “will be held to account.” Let’s hope this outcome is realized when the war ends.

Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was of Indian ancestry and was a breast cancer scientist, who received her Ph.D. the year Harris was born. Her father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica and is a professor emeritus in economics at Stanford University. Her parents divorced when Harris was seven. The family lived in Berkeley, California, and Harris began school in 1969, being the second class to integrate Berkeley elementary schools. She was bussed to Thousand Oaks Elementary School. When she was 12, her mother accepted a job teaching at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and did research at Jewish General Hospital.

Harris’ parents were activists and took her to civil rights demonstrations. She developed a strong sense of justice from them and has continued to be, as she said the first time she stood up in court, “Kamala Harris, for the people.” She has a very controversial political career, which is outlined at 55 Things You Need to Know About Kamala Harris – POLITICO.

Kamala Harris bio:

Born October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California
Has a sister, Maya Harris
Kamala means lotus
1981 – graduated from high school in Montreal
1986 – graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a major in political science
1989 – graduated from Hastings College of Law, University of California, San Francisco

 Political Career: 

1990 – Alameda County, California District Attorney’s office, specializing in prosecuting child sexual assault cases,
then managing attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office; then chief of the Division on Children
and families
2003 – Elected District Attorney of San Francisco
2010 –  Elected Attorney General of California
2016 – Elected senator from California
2020 – Accepted Joseph Biden’s invitation to be his running mate
November 3, 2020 –  Elected vice president of the United States

Personal life:

2014 – Married Douglas Emhoff, also a lawyer
Accepted his two children from a previous marriage

 Learn more:

55 Things You Need to Know About Kamala Harris – POLITICO
Who is Kamala Harris? A look at her background and career in politics – Bing video

My ebooks available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com:

Honoring 23 Black Women, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists  



Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and goodreads.com to learn more.

  1. Judith J Jadron says:

    Thank you for these very comprehensive references–55 things, etc. I learned even more about Harris than I knew from working closely with the leader of her campaign during the 2020 presidential primary here in Clark County, NV.
    She announced today that she wants to run again as Biden’s VP.
    With her background, competence and practical sense, there is no limit to what may be in store for her in the coming years.

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