Kamala Harris -- #Blacklivesmatter Series

My family is having a stay-cation this week so I may not post quite as often. I missed Crafty Sunday because I hadn't really crafted and was tired. We celebrated my birthday with my sister over the weekend. Hard to believe I am 50. Wow! Anyway, I do want to keep up my commitment to post about Black people every week. This week I returned to the list I received from my three Black teacher friends and am focusing on Kamala Harris. I will admit I knew nothing about her when I added her to the list, but of course she is in the news quite a bit now and maybe more so if she is picked as Biden's running mate. I will also add that I am not trying to make a political statement by featuring her. Although I tend to agree with the liberal side my husband is the opposite and yes the past couple of years have been tough when politics comes up more so than in the past. I usually can see both sides so I can stay somewhat neutral around him, but I have struggled with that recently. Anyway back to our post about Kamala.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at L.A.'s Families Belong Together March

Kamala Harris was born on October 24, 1964 in Oakland, California. Her name is the Sanskrit word for "lotus" flower. Her father, Donald Harris, was from Jamaica, and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris was from India. Her father was an economics professor and her mother was a physician. Her parents were both active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. She describes it as giving her a stroller eye view of the movement. She grew up attending a Baptist church and a Hindu temple.  As a child she traveled to both Jamaica and India often. When her parents divorced she and her sister were mainly raised by their mother. Her mother had very high expectations for her daughters. She had them learn how to cook Indian food, clean test tubes in her lab and sing in the church choir. 

When Kamala was thirteen-years-old she organized her first protest. She was protesting that children were not allow to play in the apartment building's green space where she lived. Eventually the protest was successful and the neighborhood children were playing soccer in the green space. Her niece wrote a book about Kamala and her sister, Maya, and their protest.
Kamala attended Howard University and graduated in 1986. She then attended law school at the University of California Hastings College of Law and graduated in 1989. She went to work in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. In 2003 she became the District Attorney of the city and county of San Francisco. While in this position she started a program that allowed first-time drug offenders to earn a high school diploma and find employment. After two terms as District Attorney she was elected as California's Attorney General. She was the first Black and the first woman Attorney General in California. She was also the first South Asian-American Attorney General in the nation. 
Kamala at 55th Anniversary Selma March with John Lewis

In 2014 Kamala marries Douglas Emhoff. In 2016 she is elected to be one of the United States Senators representing California. She began as senator on January 3, 2017. She is the second Black woman and first Southern Asian-American to be elected to the United States Senate. In 2019 she declared her run for Presidency but she dropped out of the race. She is on Joe Biden's list as possible Vice President candidates. 
Kamala with Malala Yousafzai

Throughout her career she has tried to be a voice for the underrepresented and overlooked populations like women, minorities, and poor. She is well known for what she achieved for the middle class citizens in California during the foreclosure crisis. She fought for gay marriage in California and other liberal issues but often was criticized by liberals for not going far enough. She seems to be able to work with both liberals and conservatives and looks for common grounds. As a senator she serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Budget.
Ruby Bridges and Kamala Harris
Kamala with Ruby Bridges

 Her future is uncertain but one thing seems clear. She will continue fighting for what she feels is right and for the people whose voices are not always heard. 

To teach your kids about Kamala Harris I found some books to check out. The first book is written by Kamala and the last photo is a sample page from her book.
I hope you learned something about this amazing woman and will continue to check out our Black Lives Matter Series.