Democratic candidate Joe Biden has finally decided on his running mate.
Should Joe Biden win the election, his choice for vice president will bring a lot of firsts. Kamala Harris would be the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket, the first graduate of a historically Black university, the first Indian American, and the first woman to be elected vice president. Like Barack Obama, Harris’s mixed-race heritage would allow her to connect across identities and reach multiple audiences and voting blocs.
Born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964, Harris is the eldest of two. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in Chennai and immigrated to the United States to attend a doctoral program at UC Berkeley. Her father, Donald Harris, is an economist from Jamaica. Her parents met while pursuing graduate degrees and the two bonded over a shared passion for the civil rights movement. However, her parents divorced when she was 7 years old. After graduating high school, Harris attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she majored in political science and economics. In 2003, she ran for district attorney and won, becoming the first Black woman in California to be elected district attorney.
Harris was announced as former Vice President Joe Biden’s selected candidate to be his running mate. She is the third Black woman to have run for a major-party presidential nomination. Harris stood out in a selection process where Biden was choosing from among a field of Black women.
The vice-presidential candidate gained national prominence for her deft attacks on the Trump administration and other opponents. The relentless tweeters of her fans, known as “the KHive,” have been positioned on the offensive for months, readily tackling any criticism, perceived or genuine, against the senator and her record.