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Excited, Empowered and Not Surprised: Howard U. Community Reacts to Harris’ Historic Moment

Fox 5 News DC

November 9, 2020

“Excited” and “not surprised” were the two main responses FOX 5 DC received after speaking with those connected to Howard University on Sunday morning.

Current and former students across the country and around campus are celebrating the news California Senator Kamala Harris be the first woman, the first Black and South Indian woman and the first HBCU graduate to hold the title of vice president elect.

In January, that title will change to Madam Vice President.

The District’s prestigious HBCU is partly closed this semester due to coronavirus.

It was a also weekend morning when many Howard staff and students are off.

Still, FOX 5 found plenty of people around the school’s Northwest D.C. campus buzzing about the news – and beaming with pride.

“Which is awesome!” said Lyzette Wallace, speaking of the Bison connection. However, Wallace, a Howard Law graduate, also said, “Not at all, to me surprising, at all, because I know the history that someone from Howard would make it to the White House. That’s not surprising. That’s what we should expect.”

She also was not the only one to feel this way.

“It’s nothing new for us to be proud of the people that have gone here, that have graduated here, that have gone on to do excellent things and haven’t been recognized,” said Sheryl Eaton, who was visiting campus with her husband, Eric Eaton, who is also a Howard Law grad.

“She follows a long legacy of leaders produced by Howard University as well as all HBCUs. Just to mention a few: Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, former Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts,” Eric Eaton said.

Nevertheless, those connected to Howard, called it “empowering” to have the 1986 Howard University graduate – and now Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris, put this HBCU under the world spotlight.

The acronym HBCU stands for Historically Black College and University. They’re institutions that opened their doors to young African Americans who were “once legally denied an education,” according to the National African American Museum of History and Culture web page dedicated to the history and significance of HBCUs.

View a video of the interview here.

View the complete story here.