The Nation’s First Female Vice President

Itzel Cabrales, Writer

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office on Jan. 20. Kamala Harris has become the first female to serve as Vice President of the United States and has broken many firsts for the country. Madam Vice President comes from black and South Asian descent and was previously a California Senator and district attorney. She has inspired many people across the nation because she broke color and gender barriers leading the way for others to follow in her footsteps.


In her speech on Inauguration Day, Harris said that her swearing-in was a moment that belonged to all of us. Along with that, people are saying that Harris wore purple on Inauguration Day due to bipartisanship and the hope of America finally coming together because red and blue make purple. Purple, white, and green are the colors that the Women’s Social and Political Union established as symbols in their movement back in 1903. Many people also believe that Harris wore purple to give tribute to the women empowerment and suffragette movement because the color purple means hope and loyalty. 


The name “Kamala” was given to her by her mother Shyamala Gopalan, and it means “lotus” and is also another name for a Hindu goddess, Lakshmi. The name also goes back to her Indian roots and means the empowerment of women. (Politico Magazine) Her mother raised Kamala and her sister from when she turned 7 because her parents divorced. From 1st to 4th grade, Harris went to Thousand Oaks Elementary School in Berkeley, California but then attended middle school in Montreal because her mother got a job as a teacher at McGill University. Her mother also had a position as a cancer researcher at Jewish General Hospital. Harris got to visit India where she was influenced by her grandparents. Her grandfather, Painganadu Venkataraman Gopalan, was a high-ranking government official for Indian independence, and her grandmother, Rajam Gopalan, was an activist who traveled the countryside teaching women about birth control. 


After Harris graduated from high school, she attended Howard University where she majored in political science and economics. In 1990, she joined the Alameda County prosecutor’s office as an assistant district attorney focusing on sex crimes. Her family questioned her career choice because prosecutors have had bad histories. She ran for district attorney in 2003 against Terence Hallinan, who was her previous boss, and got elected with 56.5% of the vote which meant that she was the first black woman in California who became the district attorney. 


Kamala Harris has opened paths for Americans young and old, giving people of color a figure to look up to in which they can relate with and females a role model. 

The Nation’s First Female Vice President