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  What Kamala Harris Learned About Power at Howard
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Oct 16, 2020 08:48pm
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AuthorAstead W. Herndon
News DateWednesday, October 14, 2020 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionWASHINGTON — Lita Rosario remembers when she first noticed the girl named Kamala.

Ms. Rosario, a senior at Howard University in 1982, was the only woman on the school’s debate team. Kamala Harris, a freshman, was earning a reputation at the Punch Out, a gathering place where students would argue the topics of the time — civil rights, apartheid in South Africa and the school’s complicated relationship with President Ronald Reagan.

Ms. Harris had substance, but Ms. Rosario was impressed by her style. A confidence, an intensity, a level of preparation that was rare for new students.

“She was so spirited and cogent in her arguments,” Ms. Rosario said. “I remember her enthusiasm. And I mostly remember that she was never intimidated.”

As a student at Howard, called “The Mecca” by those who know its legacy, Ms. Harris settled into the pragmatic politics that have defined her career. She participated in protests, but was a step removed from the more extreme voices on campus. She sparred with the Black Republicans on the debate team but made no secret that she thought some tactics by activists on the left were going too far. She extolled the values of racial representation, joining a generation of Black students who decided to step into the institutions — in government and the corporate world — that were unavailable to their parents.
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