Pearls Were a Big Part of Inauguration Day, Here’s Why

US Vice Presiden Kamala Harris on Inauguration Day. Photo: Screenshot.

New US Vice President Kamala Harris has always worn pearls, and on Inauguration Day women across America wore them too to show support for the country’s first female vice president-elect.

Sandra Broome-Edwards, 67, has worn pearls every day since early January. She told The New York Times, “I’ve been sitting at home watching ‘Good Morning America’ with my pearls on. It’s my way of acknowledging the momentous occasion that is coming.”

More than 430,000 women, including Broome-Edwards, are members of a Facebook group called “Wear Pearls on Jan 20 2021.” The idea was simple: to honor Kamala Harris, who wore pearls when she graduated Howard University, was sworn into Congress, grilled Brett Kavanaugh, debated Vice President Mike Pence, received her COVID-19 vaccine and again on Inauguration Day when she was sworn into her new role as Madam Vice President.

“They represent sisterhood,” said Darnell-Jamal Lisby, a fashion historian, about pearls. They are also the symbol of Harris’ sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, which she joined while at Howard.

On Inauguration Day, Broome-Edwards said she would wear a double strand pearl necklace that belonged to her grandmother. “My grandmother was a very avid poll worker,” she said. “She would be so proud of Kamala Harris.”

“I might run out to the grocery store that morning just so people can see me wearing them with a big smile on my face,” said Dr. Jan Thompson Gorniak, 53, a forensic pathologist in Las Vegas. Gwen Kelly, 56, a project administrator in Cincinnati, said as a little girl, “I used to try on my grandma and aunt’s pearls all the time, and finally they got me my own set when I was nine or 10. I always felt like wearing pearls elevated me.”


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