Our parents are the first people we lay eyes on when we plummet into this world; they are the people whose sole presence can have the most considerable impact on our lives as we’re growing up. Parents teach their children how to behave, how to be well-mannered, and how to survive in the world as we get older. But just who are the parents of American lawyer and junior US Senator, Kamala Harris?
Academics Donald and Shyamala Harris are the parents of Kamala Harris. Shyamala sadly passed away after a battle with colon cancer in 2009, but she lives on with the utmost fondness in Kamala’s heart; Kamala often credits Shyamala as the inspiration for the person she has become.
During her presidential campaign in 2019, Kamala reflected on her mother’s influence on her life frequently. As it stands, Shyamala was mentioned more than any other person throughout Kamala’s entire campaign. But what was it like growing up in the Harris household? Read on to discover more.
Harris’ Early Life: Growing Up in Southwest Berkeley
Growing up, Harris lived in an impoverished area of California, namely southwest Berkeley. Shyamala and Donald had moved to America in search of a better life. They were searching for the American dream.
Let’s talk about the disadvantages immigrants and their families face.
Immigrants are disadvantaged compared to native citizens since they often lack language skills in the host country, and inevitably, this disadvantage leaps to their offspring because immigrant parents face challenges in teaching their children to speak in the host country’s language. The child’s inability to speak in the host country’s language has its knock-on effects on the child’s social development and their ability to form social connections – this can result in all sorts of problems, including discrimination.
Shyamala fell victim to discrimination, with Kamala recalling her mother was treated as less intelligent because of her accent. For Kamala, though, the discrimination her mother faced for being an immigrant only inspired her to have the strength needed to fight against these unjustifiable injustices.
A friend of the family, Sharon McGaffie talked about Kamala in an interview last year:
“When I see (Kamala) now, it reminds me so much of her mother — that strength that she’s fighting for something, that she’s never intimidated.”
Harris’ Father: A Man of Conventional Wisdom
Kamala didn’t have as deep of a connection with her father, Donald, as she did with her mother. She didn’t live with her father but would visit him in the summer with her sister Maya.
In 1972, Donald was one of the first and one of the only black professors at Stanford University. He was passionate yet skeptical of economics – the subject he taught.
Harris’ Views: The Continuing Fight for Justice in America
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which, let’s face it, theoretically speaking, some of us do), you’ll know that the death of George Floyd at the hands of a US police officer has caused an uproar in America; the outrage has spread to the other areas of the world too. There have been crowds of people protesting in response to this unfortunate event. As a result of high emotional reactions to this tragedy, many people have spoken out, including Kamala Harris.
Harris is fuelled with motivation to achieve justice for all, with particular focus on people of Black and minority ethnic groups. On Twitter, Harris posted her response to the ongoing sufferings faced by Black and minority ethnic groups.
Although Harris was raised in a poor area of California, she appears to be doing well for herself. Motivated by the injustices that prevail in America, Harris never fails to have her voice heard on matters that are important to her.