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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris inspires Black women in Prince George’s, highlights HBCU pride

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy was handing out groceries at Highland Park when she found out that Kamala Harris would be the next Vice President of the United States.

One of the volunteers Braveboy was working with yelled out, “It’s over! They won!”

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“My heart filled with pride and I was so proud and felt good about the future of the country right away and I thought we’re heading in the right direction,” she said.

Harris became the first woman, Black and Asian American to become vice president-elect on Saturday.

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Braveboy always knew Black women could do anything but now to see it makes her feel like anything is possible.

Harris and Braveboy are both Howard University alumnae and Braveboy wore her Howard sweatshirt all day Saturday because she was so proud.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy gives remarks, joined by Mr. & Mrs. Richard Collins, II, other elected officials, advocates and supporters at a press conference to discuss House Bill 917 (HB917) and Senate Bill 606 (SB606), “Criminal Law – Hate Crimes Basis – 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins, III’s Law.”
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy gives remarks, joined by Mr. & Mrs. Richard Collins, II, other elected officials, advocates and supporters at a press conference to discuss House Bill 917 (HB917) and Senate Bill 606 (SB606), “Criminal Law – Hate Crimes Basis – 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins, III’s Law.” (Paul W. Gillespie)

“There is a sense of pride at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, oftentimes our colleges aren’t looked at as superior but we know so many (alumni) that go off to be federal judges, doctors and lawyers,” Braveboy said. “For the first time nationally, Harris is making people know the strength and intellect and the dynamic people who come out of HBCUs. I am hopeful that more students consider going to these schools.”

Kortney Wells, a senior criminal justice major at Bowie State University, had a similar reaction to Braveboy after hearing Harris would be the vice president, saying it was “overwhelming and fulfilling.”

Wells recently met Braveboy and always looked up to Baltimore State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby. With all of them attending HBCUs it shows Wells possibilities she can take in her future.

Wells believes having Harris in that position will help HBCUs with funding and that Harris understands what students at these schools go through.

Braveboy went to Bowie State the day before Election Day to encourage students to vote and to stay involved even after the election.

“Wow, we’re in the White House,” Wells said, noting the importance for young Black women to see themselves represented

Also, it made Wells want to research Harris more and how she got where she is at now.

Carmen Walker, a political science professor at Bowie State University, says it is always important to study the biographies of those who cleared paths.

“It is always good to study leadership, to look at the mistakes and not only the success. Understanding the history of Black women and understanding the political behaviors,” said Walker, who studies political behaviors and political experiences Black women have had.

Black women have been making strides over the years and Walker believes if women keep organizing, they will continue to move forward and have a seat at the table.

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My heart filled with pride and I was so proud and felt good about the future of the country right away and I thought we’re heading in the right direction


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Bowie City Councilwoman Roxy Ndebumadu is in her first year as a councilwoman and has been inspired by the new vice president-elect. To see Harris in her new role was “mind blowing,” she said.

In Ndebumadu’s career she has heard many negative comments about her being in her 20s and a Black woman.

As the youngest woman on the council, Ndebumadu has faced questions about her credibility.

“It is a different level of backlash but to be able to see a Black woman like Harris stand strong and maintain her composure and still handle herself with grace, it is just inspiring," she said.

What Ndebumadu takes away from Harris' new position is that no matter what people say or do, “the sky’s the limit and you just have to keep showing up and you never know when your time will come.”

“When Black women are in certain leadership positions people say they are too ambitious or trying to go to quickly or they can’t possibly get there and I don’t think people understand how much significance or role Black women play in certain industries,” Ndebumadu added.

Ndebumadu also attended Howard, like Harris, and calls her experience there “monumental.”

District 4 Bowie City Councilwoman Roxy Ndebumadu, left, and At-Large Councilwoman Ingrid Harrison pose for a photo at Bowie City Hall on November 8.
District 4 Bowie City Councilwoman Roxy Ndebumadu, left, and At-Large Councilwoman Ingrid Harrison pose for a photo at Bowie City Hall on November 8. (Rachael Pacella / Capital Gazette)

“Howard is an underestimated school and they set the standard for Black excellence. To see an alumni like myself, and like myself who is in public service, become the vice president of the United States is just a testament of the type of students Howard breeds out of the institution," Ndebumadu said.

While Harris is inspiring women globally, Ndebumadu is inspiring kids locally. She said she’s received messages from kids telling her she’s their idol.

“Prince George’s County is a predominantly Black community and I think it’s remarkable. It does show little kids that they can aspire to be whatever they want,” Ndebumadu said.

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