2020 was truly a year of firsts for me. It was my first time experiencing a global pandemic, my first time being quarantined, and my first time stepping into true "Blackness."
The racial injustice and civil unrest we all witnessed, and that some of us experienced first-hand, was enough to send any person of color over the edge. But then it happened -- the proverbial silver lining, if you will, in the form of the first Black, female Vice President being elected to office.
Inauguration Day 2021 was truly a glorious day for me and countless others, as well as another day of firsts. Women from all over the world -- all shades, sizes, backgrounds and pedigrees donned their pearls and Chuck Taylors (i.e., Chucks) in honor of our newly-elected VP Kamala Devi Harris. For me and over 300,000 of our Alpha Kappa Alpha Kappa Sorority, Incorporated sisters, Inauguration day took on special meaning; however. For us, the virtual experience of seeing Soror Harris take the oath of office was a culmination of 113 years of merit, culture and provision of exemplary service to all mankind. As a member of AKA for nearly 30 years, it was truly a proud moment and one I’ll never forget.
Madam Vice President Harris is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. which is a historically black college/university (HBCU) and where AKA was founded on January 15, 1908. Like a lot of HBCUs, Howard is rich in Black history and home to several Black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities, also known as The Divine Nine. These organizations have been a pivotal part of Black history and culture and have strengthened the bonds of black students since the early 20th century.
In conclusion, I’ll say that as the mother of two grown sons and a mentor to about a dozen of young, Black elementary and college-aged girls, I beamed at the thought of them also witnessing history and wish that we could’ve all witnessed the momentous occasion in person or at least were able to come together to watch virtually as a group. Unfortunately, the pandemic wouldn’t let us be great; but regardless I know that none of us will ever forget where we were or how we felt on January 20, 2021. My heart smiles at the very thought of all of the little Black girls who now see someone who looks like them in one of highest offices in our nation, along with the realization that the possibilities and their potential to do the same are endless. Needless to say, the women of AKA and many others are ready to roll up our sleeves and go to work to help Madam VP Harris and the current administration truly make our nation great again!