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Meet Our First Female Vice President: Kamala Harris by Ani B.

One hundred years ago, females were treated differently than men--women didn’t have the same right to vote as men. They didn’t have the right to become president, hold office, and so much more. But one hundred years later, things have changed. Kamala Harris is the first African American, Indian, and Californian female ever in history to become vice president of the United States of America.

Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California. Growing up, Kamala was always a bright student and did great in school. She went to an integrated high school, where black and whites could be in the same school even though growing up her town was segregated. Her father, Donald Harris, was Jamaican and taught at Stanford University. Kamala's mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was an Indian cancer researcher. Unfortunately, Kamala’s parents didn’t get along and later divorced when she was only eight years old. Kamala graduated from high school and later entered Howard University and graduated when she was twenty-three years old.


In 1989, Kamala entered the U.C. Hasting College of the Law and earned a law degree. Kamala worked as a deputy district attorney in Oakland. But as she got older, she started prosecuting cases of gang violence, drug trafficking, and sexual abuse. In 2010, Kamala became the first African American in California to be elected attorney general of California. In 2012, she won a judgment five times higher than what was originally offered. In 2009, Kamala released her book called Smart On Crime, which addressed the problem of criminal recidivism--when a convicted criminal repeats an offense. In 2012, Kamala gave a memorable speech to the Democratic National Convention, helping her to establish a national profile. In 2014, Kamala Harris married an American lawyer, Doug Emhoff. Kamala was later recruited to run for a U.S. Senate seat, which was held at that time by Barbara Boxer who was retiring.


In early 2015, Kamala won the election and was later called the first Indian American and the second black female to become a senator. She became known for her style of questioning witnesses during hearings, which drew criticism and occasional interruptions from the Republican senators. Later on, Kamala published The Truth We Hold in January 2019. The Truth We Hold is a memoir of Kamala Harris, which shows her remarkable story.


Later on, Kamala announced that she would participate in the 2020 American Democratic presidential election. On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd, an African American, died in police custody. Her effort silenced others who criticized and had prejudiced opinions. In November 2020, she was the first female to be elected vice president of the United States. Her journey from becoming the first Indian and second black senator in California and then becoming the first female U.S. vice president has inspired women from all around the world and proven that women can do anything that men can do.


Three Extra Fun Facts about Kamala Harris:

  1. Kamala’s name means "lotus" in Sanskrit and is another name for the Hindu deity Lakshmi, which represents her cultural identity.

  2. Kamala has had a passion for cooking even at a young age.

  3. Kamala loves reading and writing and does it in her free time.

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