By Edelia “Dr. Jay” Carthan,
President Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States of America Wednesday, January 20, and Kamala Harris was sworn in as the 49th vice-president of the United states of America, becoming the first woman to occupy that seat. For the first time in our nation’s history, we have a second gentleman, the husband of Vice-President Harris, Douglas Emhoff.
In his inauguration speech, President Biden promises to be the president for all Americans. “Unity is the path forward,” Biden said. “I will be a president for all Americans;” a different tone and a different story from the previous administration. “I will work just as hard for those who didn’t support me.”
Former President Donald J. Trump skipped the inauguration, becoming the first president since 1869 to skip the swearing-in of his successor breaking the 150 year tradition.
Vice-President Mike Pence was in attendance to ensure a peaceful transition and the end of an era – a week after terrorists disguised as Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol January 6.
Trump, the only president to lose the popular vote twice and to be impeached twice, left the office after he pardoned 74 people and commuted the sentences of 70 others including his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, Lil. Wayne and Kwame Kilpatrick.
President Joe Biden and first Lady Jill Biden joined Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug, for a church service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.
Actress Keke Palmer hosted the first ever curated livestream for kids and young Americans during the inaugural ceremonies.
The inauguration was different this year not only because of a national pandemic but because of the pandemic of racism, white supremacy and hate. The Capitol was under high security after the Jan 6 a coupe d’etat. This day wouldn’t have been made possible if it wasn’t for black women who galvanized America especially in Georgia, Michigan and Philadelphia.
Black women all across America and the world watched the inauguration of the first black/Asian woman to be elected Vice President of the United States of America. Many watched while wearing pearls and Converse Chuck Taylor tennis shoes in support of Vice President Harris.
The pearls are a symbol of solidarity of Harris’ sorority sisters. Although Vice President Kamala Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she has inspired millions of women especially those who are members of the Divine Nine.
The stylish 55-year-old is a graduate of Howard Univesity, a Historical Black College.
There are nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Collectively, these organizations are referred to as “The Divine Nine.” Each of these fraternities and sororities is rich in history. Ties to one or more of these organizations may be found in many college-educated black families in the United States.
They are: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.
Inauguration events have been taking place all week-long. On January 19, the Biden-Harris administration hosted a We Are One Celebration to celebrate diversity in America.
Jackson State University’s world renowned band, the Sonic Boom of the South, was one of the featured bands that performed along with bands from Florida A&M University Marching 100, South Carolina State University Marching 101, Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band and Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands and Grambling State University World Famed Marching Band.