Kamala Harris visits Hampton University as the First Stop on her College Freedom Tour. 

Thursday morning, hundreds of Hampton University students waited in line hoping to get a glimpse of Vice President Kamala Harris. Taking place in the historical Ogden Hall, the Vice President was hosted by fellow HBCU graduate of NC A&T, Terrence J, in an interview surrounding topics such as voting rights, gun laws, and climate change. 

Around a week ago, Hampton University announced that Vice President Harris would be coming to the school as the first stop on her “Fight For Our Freedoms” College Tour. Since then students waited in anticipation for Thursday morning that they may get a chance to see her in person.  However, Madam Vice President’s visit meant much more to students than solely a “photo op”. It became a chance to personally hear from an HBCU graduate, who holds the highest position in the world, for a woman of her demographic. For us, Kamala seeing Mrs. Harris was like seeing ourselves, and all that we could become.

I had the pleasure of being able to attend the event in person, and can attest to the pure joy displayed by the students present. Prior to the Vice President speaking, we were acquainted by the melodies of the Hampton University Choir, and Marching Force. Ushering in some HBCU spirit these groups ensured that students remained enthusiastic during the exciting wait to see the Vice President.

During the Vice Presidents interview, she discussed a plethora of topics, most of which are ways our freedoms are being challenged in America. Specifically, when discussing the issue of gun violence the Vice President highlighted the story of the Tennessee three. She used this instance to make a point of the importance of speaking your truth stating, “Don’t you ever let anyone convince you that your truth is not a truth that must be spoken”. Throughout her short time in the presence of us students, she urged us to stand up for what we believe is right, and take action in our communities and society. 

Being a graduate of Howard University, the Vice President serves as an example of what a successful product of an HBCU is. As I will be a future HBCU alum, I can attest to the inspiration she holds within our community. Her commitment to speak to the Hampton students surpassed any rivalry, or “badblood” . Getting to hear from her reminded us that we are represented, appreciated, and can do great things. 

 She ended her discussion by telling us “part of the gift that you have decided to receive by being a student here, is to then leave this place and walk into the world, knowing you come with people who are proud of you and are counting on you.” 

This message serves as a reminder to students not just at Hampton, but all Historically Black Institutions. We have a place in this world. No matter how questioned, or doubted we may be, we can make change. It is our responsibility to clear a path of liberty, morality, and justice, for the next generation, and the world to come.

Here is a Link to Watch the Interview with Vice President Harris

Where the HBCU Culture Resides