Haute couture can’t compete with being proud.
That’s the idea several women expressed when they gathered Wednesday at the Greenwood County Courthouse to celebrate the swearing in of Kamala Harris as vice president.
They decked themselves out in their best pearls and complemented the jewelry with their favorite Chucks and T-shirts.
It all started with a Facebook group called “Wear Pearls on Jan. 20, 2021,” said Natasha Gresham. It promoted the idea to celebrate the occasion. As of Wednesday, the group had about 463,000 members. Women in Greenwood decided to add their own touch with the shoes and shirts.
About 10 women gathered at the Courthouse around 5:40 p.m., Gresham said, adding that the idea was a spur-of-the-moment thing.
“There were so many people who participated. That’s what it made it so crazy,” she said.
The T-shirts, which were emblazoned with “Chucks and Pearls 2021,” were created by Crystal Parks. She said the idea for the T-shirt came from a cousin.
She made a few shirts for herself and her customers. Parks said she posted about the T-shirts on Facebook and received calls from people interested in them.
It took on a life of its own, Parks said. She ended up making about 50 shirts. She is still making them. A person from California has expressed a desire for the T-shirt
Interest in the shirts is satisfying, Parks said. “I really didn’t think it was going to be as big as it was.”
Participants included people of all ages, from teens to grandmothers, Gresham said, along with business owners, preachers and day care workers.
“It’s an inspiration of the power of unity, how we can come together at a moment’s notice to celebrate each other and celebrate the victory of each other,” she said. “It shows how people can come together and celebrate what yesterday meant to us as women and minorities.”
Gresham and Parks said they hope to hold another event so more people can gather. No time or place has been determined.
As for what Harris’ swearing-in meant, Gresham echoed the words, “It was the dawning of a new day.”
“Look at Jan. 6, the attack on the Capitol,” she said. “Yesterday (Wednesday) was so peaceful. From Jan. 6 to 19, everyone was probably concerned about the inauguration, whether it would be crazy. Then it was a beautiful calm.”
She expressed the hope that calm continues through administration.
Gresham’s favorite part of the day? After the swearing-in ceremonies were over, Michelle Obama and Harris embraced.
“To me, that hug was hope coming to realization, love, a proud moment. It was the most powerful embrace between two powerful, intelligent and smart women. It was like a girl moment.”
As a female in business, whether you support administration or not, everybody was able to take joy in the victory for Harris, Gresham said.
“We have far to go and we have come far as well.” That’s what the event was all about, she said. It was about a progressive moment for women and minority women more than it was political.
Parks said she attended a historically Black institution. People always talk about sticking together. The ceremony showed solidarity.
“If we focus and concentrate, we can put the country together,” she said.
There’s been a lot happening in Greenwood. It’s nice to take a break and pause and see the good in the community, Parks said.
She said she liked that her 13-year-old daughter was able to see the event and be a part of something positive.