LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The vision of Kamala Harris named as Vice President-elect goes beyond many political aspects. It’s historical.
She becomes the first Black woman with Jamaican and South Asian roots to hold the title.
She’s also the first graduate from a Historical Black College and member of a Black Greek Lettered organization.
Her moments allowed for a reflection on a time when people of color weren’t allowed into universities and prevented from having support for education and careers for success; which helped lead to the birth of Historically Black Colleges and Divine Nines.
November 7 was a moment graduates from Historically Black Colleges and members of Divine Nines (black sorority and fraternities) celebrated across the world.
Nearly 150 years after the illustrious Howard University was founded, fellow graduates reflect Kamala Harris, the first woman to become Vice President.
Courtney Phelps graduated with the class 2008 with a degree in legal communications and is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
“The idea of Howard was to educate African American newly freed former slaves,” Phelps said.
Howard is one of the HBCUs that represent less than three percent of colleges and universities yet produces nearly 23 percent of all African American graduates, 70 percent of African American dentists and physicians earned degrees from HBCUs.
Graduate and Divine Nine, Delta Sigma Theta Incorporated member Imani Bland said Harris shows what women can do, whether they’re layered in pink and green like the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated, black and red like the Deltas, or the beauty and pride of being a woman of color.
“We’ve always been CEOs, entrepreneurs,” Bland said. “We’ve always been important and held seats at those tables, now we have seats at the White House.”
Honorary Members, Corretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou are just a few pearls in a chain of successful women who represent Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.
Mechelle Porter, AKA member of 23 years, said having a woman that looks like herself with the presidential title leaves her speechless.
“She shows us as Black women in a positive light,” Porter said. “We are more than Divine Nines, we’re more than women. She has shown that Black women can make things happen.”
Some HBCUs have struggled financially to stay open. Harris' sorors and alum said she brings attention to showing what comes out of an HBCU and they hope it increases retention and financial support.