How Kamala Harris’s Immigrant Parents Found a Home, and Each Other, in a Black Study Group

At an off-campus space at the University of California at Berkeley in the fall of 1962, a tall, thin Jamaican Ph.D. student addressed a small crowd, drawing parallels between his native country and the United States.

He told the group, a roomful of Black students, that he had grown up observing British colonial power in Jamaica, the way a small number of whites had cultivated a “native Black elite” in order to mask extreme social inequality.

At 24, Donald J. Harris was already…

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