Chicago : Kamala Harris’ Jamaican family explodes in jubilation over her nomination – NBC Chicago

ORANGE HILL, Jamaica – Residents of this small farming town in northern Jamaica watched in rapture Wednesday night as Kamala Harris, the daughter of an Orange Hill woman who immigrated to the United States, accepted the Democratic nomination for the US vice presidency. .

“We are very proud to know that you are a family member of ours. He’s making history! ”Said Newton Harris, a 29-year-old cousin of Harris who is a legal advisor to the Jamaica Department of Justice.

“As long as she remains a faithful servant of those who need her most, she will go far and history will recognize her,” added Newton Harris, who watched the Democratic convention online at her home.

Donald Harris, Kamala Harris’ father, grew up in Orange Hill and immigrated to the United States, where he married an immigrant from India, Shyamala Gopalan, with whom he had two daughters.

His close relationship with Kamala and his sister ended when he divorced his wife in 1972, according to father and daughter, but Kamala continued to travel to Jamaica as a young man.

In accepting the vice presidential nomination on Wednesday, Harris spoke a lot about his mother, mentioning only in passing his father and Jamaica.

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Still, her Orange Hill relatives say they clearly sensed the Harris family’s influence on the first black woman to enter a presidential race in America, accompanying Joe Biden.

The Harrisons have been involved in politics and business in Jamaica. A Kamala great-grandmother, Christiana Brown, was the owner of a popular clothing business.

His great-aunt Thelma Harris was a councilor for the Labor Party in the 1970s, a time when a woman was rarely seen in politics, family members told the Associated Press.

It was 1986 and 38 black girls dreamed of following in the footsteps of the founders of their university sisterhood: pioneering women capable of changing their reality.

Other PL militant Harris relatives held political office in St. Ann’s Parish, the district that encompasses Orange Hill.

“His speech was brilliant,” said Harris’ cousin Maxine Cross, 65, a property manager. “I loved! We are very proud of Kamala ”.

In South Florida, where there are 300,000 Jamaicans, that community celebrated Harris’ selection as a vice presidential candidate, saying it will help mobilize Democratic voters in a state key to Donald Trump’s re-election aspirations.

The California senator and vice presidential candidate is the daughter of immigrants. To see more from Telemundo, visit now.telemundo.com

“There is a lot of excitement,” said Dale Holness, Mayor of Broward County, home to the largest Jamaican community in South Florida, who was born in Jamaica. “They are happy to see that a daughter of immigrants can become number two” in the government.

Mark Douglas, a Sunrise city commissioner who immigrated from Jamaica in his twenties, said voters in other Caribbean nations like Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and the Bahamas can also vote for Biden now that Harris is in the running. “We generally support each other,” he explained.

Donald Harris is an economist, professor emeritus at Stanford University. He stopped answering questions about his daughter’s Jamaican ancestry, according to a Stanford spokeswoman.

After breaking the news, Trump quickly tweeted a campaign ad describing Harris as “fake” and saying that she and Biden “jointly embrace the radical left.”

Like Donald Harris, many Orange Hill residents immigrated to the United States in search of a better future. And the nomination of Kamala Harris gives them hope of success.

“The Harrises are hardworking people. I laughed and was overjoyed. ”Kamala Harris’s nomination, said Vita Stevenson, 75, an Orange Hill business owner. “I have a daughter who keeps me informed about everything that happens in the United States. I pray that (Kamala) wins ”the vice presidency.