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The future is bright: Inauguration brings hope to mothers of HBCU students

By SHSJC Student Lauryn Moss, written for JAC 310, Prof. Lynn Waltz

A Virginia mom cried tears of joy as she watched Kamala Harris being sworn in Wednesday, and saw a future for her family.

As a white woman in the south, Dana Moss, married to a black man with two bi-racial children, had become increasingly worried for her family during the Trump era.

Now, for the first time in four years, she felt hope.

“I am excited that the negative rhetoric will die down like in the Charlottesville situation when Trump tweeted there were good people on both sides,” Moss said. “We won’t have to see a president on national TV telling the Proud Boys to stand back and stand by. There will finally be less animosity between white people and people of color.”

Moss never thought she would see a woman, much less a black woman, as vice president.

“It was phenomenal to know all the barriers she was breaking at one moment in time,” she said. “It was emotional for me to see knowing how young girls and especially girls of color would be able to see themselves in her and know that the job of vice president of the United States is within their reach.”

Under the Biden-Harris administration, she believes that new policies will make life easier for her family.

“I think having someone Black sitting in the vice president seat will ensure that decisions that are made by this administration will have consideration taken on how they will affect people of color and their communities,” Moss said.

Despite increased national diversity, there is still a lack of representation in politics.

Congress has 137 people of color holding congressional office, according to GovPredict, which is the most racially diverse in history. Still, with about 22 % being people of color, it does not yet reflect the population where people of color are roughly 40 % of the population, according to PBS.

“There is a problem going on where white men are the people who make decisions for all of us. These people in office forget about issues that affect people of color,” Moss said.

Both Moss’s son and daughter attended Historically Black Colleges. Her son just graduated from Howard University’s medical school and her daughter attends Hampton University.

Harris graduated from Howard in 1986, according to Britannica, and expresses pride in her HBCU constantly.

“It is wonderful to see HBCU pride reflected through Kamala Harris and to know that the degrees my children have from HBCU’s will be seen as great education,” she said.

The only thing that made her happier than seeing a Black vice president sworn in Wednesday was seeing Trump walk out of the White House that morning.

“We don't have to be concerned about what new tweet has come out from our president,” Moss said. “I know this administration is an administration of adults instead of a tantrum-throwing child.”

Through this presidency, she is optimistic about vaccination distribution and criminal justice reform that will close gaps affecting people of color.

“I believe Biden and Harris will empathize and sympathize with the challenges of communities of color and drive policies,” Moss said, citing healthcare, education, and police interaction.

In his campaign, Biden pledged at least $10,000 in student loan debt cancellation. He also said that he hopes to diminish climate change and rejoin the Paris climate accord while making efforts to reverse Trump's policies within the first 100 days. Without comment on the previous pledges, Moss says she supports the Biden-Harris administration’s promise to expand coronavirus testing and a COVID-19 relief package.

"The future is bright,” Moss said.

Note: Due to pandemic conditions: Students were given permission to interview family members.