/  01.19.2021

On Wednesday (Jan. 20), Kamala Harris will swear into her new position as the nation’s vice president, and her alma mater will be at her side. Howard University announced that their Showtime Marching Band will escort the former senator and entertain the crowd with a special performance at the parade.

“It is our esteemed honor to be involved in the historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Howard President Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement. “Throughout her career, the vice president-elect has carried her Howard education with her, ensuring that she adhere to truth and service and inspiring her to achieve unprecedented levels of excellence. It is perfectly fitting that the Showtime Marching Band, the ensemble that captures and reverberates the heartbeat of our institution, should accompany her on this last leg of her journey to the White House.”

The band will be downsized in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, only featuring its Flashy Flag Squad drumline and Ooh La La dancers.

Harris — who will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor — attended the HBCU from 1982 to 1986. It was there that she put in a bid for freshman classroom representative of the college’s liberal arts student council — an experience that helped to prep her for future political campaigns.

“That was my first run for public office,” Harris once told ESSENCE. “And when you run for public office at Howard University, you can run for office anywhere.”

When she and Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Frederick sent a congratulatory message to her, noting his belief that she will “continue advancing her vision of a nation where all people — regardless of race, creed, gender, background or ethnicity – have access to equitable opportunities to grow and succeed.”

“At a time when the Black community is coping with the disproportionate social and economic impacts of COVID-19, a global reckoning with systemic racism and the loss of some of our cultural and social icons, we are proud to call Howard University alumna Kamala Harris a monumental catalyst for collective joy and positive change,” said of Harris, who will officially become the first Black Jamaican-American, the first South Asian-American and the first female vice president following tomorrow’s (Jan. 20) ceremony.


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