Kamala Harris remembers mother, journeys in America

California Senator Kamala Harris, who posted several immigrant stories in previous weeks, posted an entry on her Facebook page on the last day of Immigrant Heritage Month.

She posted, “I wanted to share one last story today for immigrant heritage month – my own. My mother, Shyamala Harris arrived at the University of California-Berkeley from India in 1959. She had dreams of becoming a scientist. The plan was to go back home when she finished school, but when she met my father Donald Harris, she made a different plan. She went against a practice reaching back thousands of years, and instead of an arranged marriage, chose a love marriage. This, an act of self-determination made me and my sister Maya. And – like millions of the children of immigrants before and since – it made us Americans.”

Shyamala Gopalan Harris died on February 11, 2009, from cancer, at the age of 70. She was described as “world-renowned scientist, a mentor, an activist, a mother” who “Despite her 5-ft stature, … was a commanding presence characterised by a sharp wit, keen sense of humour and endless depth of knowledge”.

She came to the US as a teenager, forged her career as a breast cancer researcher, joined the ongoing civil rights movement, and raised Kamala Harris and another daughter, Maya Harris by herself.

Kamala Harris remembers mother, journeys in America
Kamala Harris. Photo courtesy: Facebook

Kamala Harris, an American attorney and politician, is serving as a senator from California. Previously, she served as the 32nd Attorney General of California. Harris graduated from Howard University and UC Hastings. She was elected District Attorney of San Francisco in 2003 after working in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and City Attorney’s office. She held the position until 2011 and was elected California’s Attorney General in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.