"Join the Movement: Countless Women Set to Don Pearls on Inauguration Day"
When Hope Aloaye initiated a Facebook group aimed at encouraging women to wear pearls in honor of the first female vice president of the United States, she was unaware of the accessory's significance to former Senator Kamala Harris. Aloaye believed that pearls exude female strength, not knowing that the sorority Harris once joined in college, Alpha Kappa Alpha, shares a similar viewpoint. The sorority refers to its members as "pearls," while its founders are known as the "Twenty Pearls." The vice president-elect has also been spotted wearing pearls in different styles in numerous instances.
The group "Wear Pearls on Jan 20th, 2021," founded by Aloaye, originally aimed to allow women to uplift each other during a monumental moment for womankind. Since its launch in December, the group has garnered over 430,000 members from various continents and age groups. According to Aloaye, members provide each other with daily support, and many have offered to donate pearls to those who do not possess any.
Arthia Nixon and her daughter, Alejandra Stack, who are of mixed race, are delighted to wear pearls on the inauguration day as they feel represented by Harris' story. Stack believes that pearls represent poise and class, while Nixon associates them with unity, with small pieces adding up to make a magnificent whole.
Nixon, a Bahamian immigrant who moved to the U.S. a decade ago, stated that she will proudly wear pearls on the Inauguration Day since she relates to the story of Harris' mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris. She revealed that she often reminisces about a photograph of Harris as a young girl with her mother and sister, where her mother can be seen wearing pearls. It was such a significant image for her that she cannot stop thinking about it. It conveys a message of inspiration to her that if Shyamala Harris, an immigrant woman, can raise successful daughters in the country, she can also do it.
Nixon is proud of her culture, and at the same time, she wants to provide her children the opportunity to embrace their new home. Various women are now inspired by the idea of sporting Harris' iconic accessory on her inauguration. Felicia Cheek, a resident of Atlanta, created a Facebook group titled "Chucks and Pearls Day" in reference to the times Harris was seen wearing Converse's Chuck Taylor sneakers. The group moderator, Jeanette DeVaughn, Cheek's high school friend from Austin, Texas, began the group.
Cheek stated that "Chucks and pearls" depicts Harris' unique character- natural, confident, free-spirited while also expressing her presence. The group membership now stands at a staggering 72,000. The group's success was due to the excitement about something new, positive and something that is free from drama. Cheek anticipates that members take the excitement further and understand how they can contribute to the country's present and future.
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