HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Wednesday's inauguration was historic in many ways. For one, it hits close to home for historically black colleges and universities here in Huntsville.
"Just getting past the question, what's an HBCU? Historically Black, College or University. I think this is the moment where many of the barriers and ceilings are cracking and crumbling," says Oakwood University President, Leslie Pollard.
Vice President Kamala Harris is a graduate of an HBCU, Howard University. Many of these schools were founded post civil war with Jim Crow Laws in effect.
Along with Pollard, students at Alabama A&M University believe HBCUs are gaining more recognition.
"I believe it just solidifies what Black people have known for years about HBCUs; that it is not subpar education. That it does prepare you," says AAMU Senior, Social Work major, Aleisha Nesbitt.
"Just like Alabama A&M's motto is "Start here, go anywhere. No inch of this world is not available to an HBCU student," says AAMU Senior, Mechanical Engineering major, Aniekan Ruffin.
It's also historic for the first Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated also founded at Howard University. Harris is a member.
"We as a sisterhood honored her, and it was really fascinating to really just listen to the story of where she had been and where she is now," says Asst. Provost Undergrad and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Member, Karen Benn-Marshall.
"Black women serving as Vice President, being sworn in by the first Latino Justice, I think that's just a monumental moment for minorities," says Oakwood University USM Parliamentarian, Brianna Dean.
"Kamala Harris has definitely defied that statement, she has made it known and I love the fact that she has made it know she stands on being an HBCU graduate," added Oakwood University Pre-Law Program Director, Asst. Prof. Marcya Burden.
Oakwood University President Pollard says now he believes that HBCUs will move out of the realm of invisibility to visibility.