Senator Kamala Harris, who is of Jamaican descent and is in the running to become the Vice President of the United States, has been listed among the 100 most influential people of 2020 by Time Magazine. In describing Harris for Time, Ayanna Pressley, Democratic Congresswoman from Massachusetts, notes that the Senator has “always been a trailblazer” and has had a career marked by breaking barriers. In 2002, she became the first person of color to be elected District Attorney of San Francisco. In 2011, Harris became the first woman, the black person, and the first South Asian American to be the Attorney General of California in the history of the state. Now, in 2020, Harris is the first Black woman and first Indian American to receive the nomination for Vice President in a major US political party.
Harris was born in Oakland, California. Harris’s father is from Jamaica, and her mother was from India. Congresswoman Pressley called the Harris vice presidential nomination “the realization of a dream” that many people have fought to make possible. Noting that she was raised by a “strong woman” who was rooted in community. Harris’s parents divorced when she was seven. She has gone on to create a life and career marked by a commitment to public service and a “believe in government as a force for good.” Pressley said she was honored to work with Harris in the US Congress and that Harris embodies “the beliefs and expectations of little girls and young women” everywhere.
Two other individuals on the Times “Most Influential” list for 2020 are of Caribbean descent. Lewis Hamilton, who was born in England, is the first Black Formula 1 race car driver. He has roots in Grenada through his father, while Naomi Osaka, a professional tennis player from Japan and the first Asian player to achieve a top ranking in the singles category, was born in Japan. Her father is from Haiti, and her mother is Japanese. Osaka has lived and trained in the United States since the age of three.