Kamala Harris made history when she was picked by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as his running mate on Tuesday. She is the first Asian-American on a major presidential ticket.
She is the daughter of Indian mother from Chennai, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a cancer researcher who passed away in 2009, and Jamaican father, Donald Harris, who teaches at Stanford University. The parents separated when Harris and her younger sister Maya Harris were still very young.
From Kamala’s name (Shyamala gave her and her sisters Sanskrit names to connect their heritage with their identities) to her focus on immigration and equal rights, Shyamala has had a profound influence and lasting legacy on her high-flying daughter.
Her selectioncame as little surprise. With the United States in the midst of a reckoning over its history of racial injustice, Biden had increasingly been pressed to select a woman of colour. Harris, who became the Senate’s second Black woman in its history, was always at the top of the list.
.@JoeBidencan unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals.
I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris)August 11, 2020
But Harris did anything but keep a low profile while Biden was making up his mind. Instead, she emerged as a fierce advocate for police reform and social justice – in the Senate, in the streets, and on the airwaves, sparring with Republicans on the Senate floor and offering fiery critiques of Republican President Donald Trump.
Harris is now the first American of Indian and Asian descent to run for vice-president. She is also the first African American of a major party and only the third woman yet to run for that office, after Democrat Geraldine Ferraro and