NBC News - Before Sen. Kamala Harris broke historic barriers in the ivory halls of Congress, and now on the Democratic presidential ticket, she dug into her heritage on Howard University’s campus, one of the most prestigious historically Black colleges in the country.
“She was well-steeped in her heritage both as a woman of Jamaican descent and a woman of South Asian descent,” said Jill Louis, a Dallas-based corporate attorney, who attended Howard with Harris and is one of Harris’ line sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the historically Black sorority. “She would talk about what it was like to have that heritage and how she experienced it.” . . .
Harris’ new status as a vice presidential hopeful arrives against the backdrop of an Asian American electorate that’s experiencing rapidly growing influence. In the past two decades, the group has ballooned by 139 percent, making it the fastest-growing demographic of eligible voters compared to all other major races and ethnicities. In comparison, the white electorate grew by 7 percent in the same period. Asian Americans also stand out as the only group composed of a majority of naturalized immigrants.
In recent elections, the Asian American and Pacific Islander population has trended left, with 79 percent voting for Clinton in 2016, according to an Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund exit poll conducted in 11 different Asian languages. . .