MAGNOIA, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — It’s the day after the Presidential Inauguration but some in Arkansas are still taking in the moments Kamala Harris was sworn in as the vice president of the United States, the second-highest office in the executive branch.
Madam Vice President Harris broke barriers for women and those who come from different racial backgrounds. She is the first female U.S. vice president — and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to hold the position.
Her sisters from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated have been beaming with excitement since Biden selected Harris as his VP nominee. Although, it’s not the first time she has paved the way for those following in her foot steps.
“She just came through and broke some glass ceilings,” Julia Smith said.
Smith is one of hundreds of thousands of Alpha Kappa Alpha women across all 50 states and nine different countries that watched the inauguration Wednesday.
The ladies in the Phi Zeta Omega Chapter in Magnolia wore their pink and green paraphernalia with pride as some styled their outfits with chuck tailers, a popular shoe Vice President Harris loves to wear.
“I really thought I would never see a black woman. I thought that would be something from my grandchildren,” member of Phi Zeta Omega Chapter, Paula Washington Woods said.
The sorority was founded by nine women on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college women.
Vice President Harris was initiated into the Alpha Chapter in 1986. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. as a whole has thrived for 113 years now.
Its mission is to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life, and to be of “Service to All Mankind”.
Not only are the little girls around the world proud of this moment of history but the founders of this organization are looking down with pure joy.
“We are moving above and beyond their wildest dreams,” President of Phi Zeta Omega Chapter, Tavon Lowe said.
Residents of South Arkansas who are members of the other eight historically African American Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities also joined in on celebrating Harris’ trailblazing moment.
“It shows that Greek lettered organizations produces leaders,” Crossett native and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Yolanda Martin said.
Camden native, Patric Flannigan is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. He says this is a huge win for all Divine 9 organizations and all historically black colleges.
“When you think about fraternities and sororities we often think about competition but in actuality there’s a lot of respect,” he said.
It wasn’t easy for Harris to get in the position which is why her sorority sisters say the work does not stop here.
“We can’t throw in the towel now. We can’t just wash our hands and say we voted. There’s so much more that we have to do,” member of Phi Zeta Omega Chapter, Tasha Coleman said. “Regardless of how difficult it may be or how tired I get, I have to move forward.”