“My mother understood she was raising two black children to be black women.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-03-29 02:59Z by Steven

“My mother understood she was raising two black children to be black women,” [Kamala] Harris said in the interview, a line she has often used to settle questions on the subject. Shyamala Gopalan Harris encouraged her daughter to go to Howard [University], a school her mother knew well, having guest lectured there and having friends on the faculty.

“There was nothing unnatural or in conflict about it at all,” Harris said. “There were a lot of kids at Howard who had a background where one parent was maybe from the Philippines and the other might be from Nairobi,” she added. “Howard encompasses the [African] diaspora.”

Evan Halper, “A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity,” The Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-kamala-harris-howard-university-20190319-story.html.

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A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-03-29 02:47Z by Steven

A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity

The Los Angeles Times
2019-03-19

Evan Halper

A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity
Kamala Harris, right, protests South African apartheid with classmate Gwen Whitfield on the National Mall in November 1982. (Photo courtesy of Kamala Harris)

The war on drugs had erupted, apartheid was raging, Jesse Jackson would soon make the campus a staging ground for his inaugural presidential bid. Running for student office in 1982 at Howard University — the school that nurtured Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison and Stokely Carmichael — was no joke.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has been known to break the ice with voters by proclaiming the freshman-year campaign in which she won a seat on the Liberal Arts Student Council her toughest political race. Those who were at the university with her are not so sure she is kidding.

It was at Howard that the senator’s political identity began to take shape. Thirty-three years after she graduated in 1986, the university in the nation’s capital, one of the country’s most prominent historically black institutions, also serves as a touchstone in a campaign in which political opponents have questioned the authenticity of her black identity.

“I reference often my days at Howard to help people understand they should not make assumptions about who black people are,” Harris said in a recent interview…

Read the entire article here.

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In Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, Indian Americans want more opportunities to connect

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-19 20:38Z by Steven

In Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, Indian Americans want more opportunities to connect

NBC News
2019-02-12

Chris Fuchs

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during a rally launching her presidential campaign
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., at a rally launching her presidential campaign on Jan. 27 in Oakland, California. Noah Berger / AFP – Getty Images

While the California Democrat has caught the eyes of South Asian voters, some say her ethnic background isn’t enough for them to identify with her.

Shiv Dass, 82, recalls fondly the time he met Hillary Clinton when she visited Jackson Heights, in the Queens borough of New York City, while campaigning in the 2016 presidential election.

Dass, the owner of Lavanya, an Indian apparel store on 74th Street for almost a quarter century, described the Clintons as having a close relationship with the Indian-American community, owing in part to what he said was Bill Clinton’s support of India when he was president.

Now that a woman with Indian roots, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is running in the 2020 presidential race, Dass, a Democrat, will have some decisions to make.

“I am proud that she is Indian, but I will not support her because she is Indian,” Dass, who immigrated to the United States in 1966, said. “I will support her if she is good for us, good for the country.”

Harris, who kicked off her campaign in her hometown of Oakland in late January, was born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. She supports policies such as Medicare for all, debt-free college, and a tax cut that will benefit working families…

Read the entire article here.

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‘I am who I am’: Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, defines herself simply as ‘American’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-02-03 04:47Z by Steven

‘I am who I am’: Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, defines herself simply as ‘American’

The Washington Post
2019-02-02

Kevin Sullivan, Senior Correspondent


Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), center, sings the Alpha Kappa Alpha hymn at the sorority’s annual “Pink Ice Gala” on Jan. 25 in Columbia, S.C. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg News)

SAN FRANCISCO — In early 2010, an Indian American couple hosted a fundraiser in their elegant Pacific Heights home for Kamala Harris, then a Democratic candidate for California attorney general.

Harris had been San Francisco’s high-profile district attorney for more than six years, but Deepak Puri and Shareen Punian had only recently learned that Harris was, as Punian said, “one of our peeps,” a woman whose mother was an Indian immigrant.

They had always assumed Harris was African American, and so did most of the 60 or 70 Indian American community leaders at the event, many of whom asked Puri and Punian why they had been invited.

“At least half of them didn’t know she was Indian,” said Punian, a business executive and political activist.

Harris, 54, now a U.S. senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, would be several firsts in the White House: the first woman, the first African American woman, the first Indian American and the first Asian American. The daughter of two immigrants — her father came from Jamaica — she would also be the second biracial president, after Barack Obama.

Obama’s soul-searching quest to explore his identity, as the son of a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father who was largely absent from his life, was well-documented in his autobiography.

But when asked, in an interview, if she had wrestled with similar introspection about race, ethnicity and identity, Harris didn’t hesitate:

“No,” she said flatly…

Read the entire article here.

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