Stephanie Keith / Drew Angerer / Getty
Howard University is Vice President Kamala Harris’s alma mater
Some messages require a parade. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Independence Day. Taking to the streets in joy marks the recognition of tradition and hope for tomorrow. President Biden’s inauguration counts, of course. However, the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris requires a special parade. One from her alma mater, the historically black Howard University. At a moment that can only be described as joyful, the band (literally) accompanied the new Vice President to her new office in the White House.
Of course, the Twitterverse has lost its ever-loving collective mind because this is all.
Kamala Harris has just entered the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for the first time as Vice President. She made history earlier today, becoming the first female, first black, and first South Asian US Vice President. https://t.co/tcmAzrzqTx pic.twitter.com/gPXazYXghd
– CNN (@CNN) January 20, 2021
While users waited for the band to begin accompaniment, the users could barely suppress their excitement. Some posted throwback photos of the new vice president.
#KamalaHarris is the first black and Asian American woman to be VP and the first #HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Unis) alumna to achieve such a position. The original of this photo of Kamala, Valarie Pippen and Karen Gibbs was taken on the famous Howard University return in 1986. pic.twitter.com/0pc03L73BQ
– The Africa Center (@TheAfricaCentre) January 20, 2021
Even the cops seemed delighted with HU’s involvement.
Here is part of the scene surrounding the parade route. Got a nice exchange between a cop and the Howard University marching band. Apparently he was once a member and excited to meet current members. pic.twitter.com/efvtJgrDJD
– Jarrett Renshaw (@JarrettRenshaw) January 20, 2021
This band, however. IN ANY CASE.
It’s not just a marching band. It’s the Howard University Showtime Marching Band. pic.twitter.com/aZvWwbi6Ia
– Benjamin Freed (@brfreed) January 20, 2021
Howard University (VP Harris’ Alma Mater) marching band pic.twitter.com/aJMULuuK1L
– Lissandra Villa (@LissandraVilla) on January 20, 2021
Within the only public viewing area to which 25 people have simultaneous access due to security and security restrictions. Howard University’s marching band is currently performing on deserted streets: pic.twitter.com/Tb0S9zH7Yo
– Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) January 20, 2021
Before inauguration day, Howard University posted a video of their involvement in the historic event.
Howard University Showtime Marching Band is proud to accompany Vice President @KamalaHarris at the 59th inauguration along with President @JoeBiden and his alma mater @UDelaware Fightin ‘Blue Hen Marching Band! # HU2WH # Initiation2021
More information: https://t.co/cvc0NsHNUf pic.twitter.com/uP6EvmDWEJ
– Howard University (@HowardU) January 18, 2021
Other Twitter users pointed out that Kamala Harris is also the first historically black college graduate to be elected to such high office.
#HU people know they are tough! #HowardUniversity #Inauguration # Inauguration2021 pic.twitter.com/8YcCsMLMkR
– EUGEE ? | IG: @ IAMEUGEE.K #BIDEN IS YOUR PRESIDENT (@IamEugeeK) January 20, 2021
CBS News provided a teaser for a story about Harris’ time in college.
When VP @KamalaHarris was a freshman at Howard University, she ran for class president – although that position was typically held by men. “She said, ‘So what? I’m not going to let anyone else define who I am.'”
Watch “One Nation Indivisible” tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CBS pic.twitter.com/5V6tQdnSD8
– CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2021
There is a saying in the black community: twice as good for half as far. This means that to be successful, a black woman would have to be twice as good as her white counterpart – but she would only go half as far. The subtext, repeated many times by well-meaning family members, was meant for us as black women to endure, and maybe one day you would get a tiny little corner of what you wanted.
That ended today. When Kamala took the oath of office, she not only smashed more than a glass ceiling, but tore this “twice as wide” proverb into tiny little shreds and threw an invisible parade for any little girl who wants to follow in her footsteps.
As she walked up the stairs hand in hand with her husband, she put to bed the idea that women have to choose between a family and a career. That is definitely a win.
When Harris wrapped her arms around her stepdaughter and held her niece’s hand as the whole family moved to their new office, she dispelled the notion that stepmothers must be at odds with their new family. It is also worth celebrating.
Particularly noteworthy is how Kamala went up these stairs. With all the pomp that comes with the office, she straightened her shoulders, lifted her chin, and walked up the stairs like a leader. She didn’t look over her shoulder. You didn’t need.
She knows that more will come after her.
Today Kamala Harris is the first of many. But not the last.