Just as I wanted to understand Michelle Obama and read her book, Becoming, I also wanted to get a personal look at our first female, first Black, and first Indian-American Vice President, Kamala Harris, so earlier this year I picked up her book, The Truths We Hold.
These two amazing women have secured a place in history, but they are also so very different. But that’s not surprising, is it? We all have our own, unique stories to tell.
Becoming felt like a casual conversation to me, a leisurely stroll together talking about events that impacted Michelle Obama personally. However, Truths left me breathless. Kamala Harris hit the ground running and raced me through the professional events in her life. One review I read said her book reads more like a campaign platform. While I don’t entirely disagree, as the book lays out who she is, what she believes, and what she has accomplished, she also touches on some pivotal moments in her childhood that played a big role in her life and career.
Harris comes from two cultural worlds, Jamaican and Indian and was surrounded by movers and shakers of the American civil rights movement during her formative years, giving her a perspective I definitely didn’t have.
While I may not agree with everything Harris supports, I admire how she passionately and aggressively seeks to correct the wrongs she sees. There are those that criticize her efforts or claim her projects and programs as flawed or failed, but to find what works, to reach a solution to the challenges we face, one must be willing to take the bold step of trying. As Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
What resounds throughout Harris’ book is courage. Courage to stand up to the powers that be, courage to work long and hard for values and ideals, courage to go where no woman has gone before.