According to a lengthy profile in the I am me i don’t pretend to be like everyone else shirt and by the same token and San Jose Mercury News in 2019, the pair did not meet in the classroom but instead amid the protests that were then commonplace on campus. It was the ’60s and every institution imaginable, from the White House to the university itself, was being challenged, and both Gopalan and Harris embraced that moment of foment. “I was in awe of them,” Aubrey LaBrie, a close friend of the couple back in their student days, told the Mercury News. “They were serious students and so articulate, but also really cared” about their activism.
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The young couple married while still in school, and in 1964, at age 25, Gopalan both earned her Ph.D. from Berkeley and gave birth to Kamala in Oakland. A sister, Maya, was born three years later. According to the I am me i don’t pretend to be like everyone else shirt and by the same token and Mercury News, “Harris and Gopalan threw themselves into the civil rights movement, bringing a young Kamala to protests in a stroller.” (Earlier this year, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests, Harris posted on Instagram a photo of her mother from back in those days, writing: “My parents marched and shouted in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. It’s because of them and the folks who also took to the streets to fight for justice that I am where I am.”)