A vivid, intimate portrait of the friendship forged between Stacey Johnson Batiste and her childhood best friend, Vice President Kamala Harris—and of the community in which they were raised, and the lessons offered by those they loved and admired from childhood, through their teenage years, and up to the present day.
FRIENDS FROM THE BEGINNING celebrates the dear friendship and shared experience between the vice president and her close, childhood friend Stacey Johnson-Batiste. Growing up together in Berkeley in the ’60 and ’70s, Stacey and Kamala were born of a time and place bursting with cultural diversity and freedom of expression. This memoir provides a candid, colorful, look at the formative years during which Stacey and Kamala shared and experienced an inclusive environment of community support, love, and non-traditional education—set against the backdrop of roiling political tension, demonstrations held frequently on and around the U.C. Berkeley campus and People's Park, and bold expressions from people from all walks of life.
FRIENDS FROM THE BEGINNING also offers readers a window into Kamala's mother, Shyamala—as observed by Stacey—the brave woman who set the future vice president on a path of many firsts. While that path was not always easy, Shyamala’s light and legacy shines through on these pages. In addition, Johnson-Batiste introduces several other essential formative figures who informed their early lives and whose influences have played a role in shaping the character of both the author and of our vice president.
FRIENDS FROM THE BEGINNING is a story of enduring friendship, life lessons described in bright, loving detail, and the courage, sacrifice, and dedication to shared values that have sustained their friendship for decades.