Richmond reacts: Vice President Kamala Harris makes history

Local News

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — The news of Kamala Harris becoming Vice President resonates among women, people of color and minority institutions across America including Richmond.

Harris had many firsts in her career, starting with barrier-breaking success as a prosecutor in California. But now that she’s taken the oath of office becoming the 49th Vice President of the United States, people in RVA are celebrating that someone like them shattered a glass ceiling.

An all-boys club is no more.

“So help me God,”–the words that solidified Harris as the first woman, Black and South Asian person to become vice president. 

Not only that, the California-native is the first alumnus of a Historically Black College or University headed to the White House—a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C.

At Virginia Union University, an HBCU, Provost Dr. Terrell Strayhorn spoke to 8News about the historic moment.

“I think what it does is it shows the world and commemorates and demonstrates what HBCUs produced,” Strayhorn said.

“We are creating leaders for society.”

After vowing to select a woman as his running mate, President Joe Biden tapped Harris, calling her a “fearless fighter for the little guy.”

“Today, we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office. Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can’t change,” Mr. Biden said during his inaugural remarks.

Among those elated of the historical achievement are sisters of Harris’ college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.

“We are just honored, and that means a great deal to us, and it means a great deal to our children because it means they can go as far as their minds can carry them,” Richmond chapter member Monica Darden.

“Hard work pays off, and dedication pays off and keeping your eyes on the prize,” Willnette Pegram said.

AKA Mid Atlantic Regional Director Jennifer King Congleton described the history as a “a dream come true.”

Today, photos swirled online of AKA sisters donning Converse sneakers, a Harris footwear favorite, and pearls—an AKA staple.

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