Women wear pearls on Jan. 20 to honor Kamala Harris, to empower others.
Pearls “make a statement,” said Archer, the founder of an Atlanta-based hospitality public relations firm. “You feel elegant. You feel regal. The minute you see a woman walking with pearls, you wonder if she is a member of the organization.”
She recently had a room in her home renovated and incorporated pearls in the design.
“I think it’s a day of pride and a day of firsts,” for the sorority, said Archer. Even for those who are not AKAs, it’s also “a day of reflection to exemplify how far we’ve come and the possibilities.”
Harris has been wearing pearls since her days at Howard, where she graduated in 1986 as a political science and economics major. She later earned a degree from the University of California – Hastings Law.
Hope Aloaye, though, pearls aren’t just about fashion or a particular organization.
They’re about empowerment of women and women supporting other women.
Aloaye lives in Florida but is a former Atlanta resident.
In December, she created a Facebook page, “Wear Pearls on Jan. 20th, 2021,″ which now boasts nearly 400,000 members from around the globe. They are Black, white, Asian and Latino and they represent all ages and backgrounds.
“This was something to bring women together to celebrate that we have broken the glass ceiling,” said Aloaye, who is retired from the U.S. Navy.
She shared the idea with a friend. Within days, the page had 100 members, then a week later, 1,000.
It hasn’t stopped growing.ExploreWhat you need to know about Kamala Harris
Women coming together. Celebrating Harris, but also each other.
“That’s where the pearl comes in,” said Aloaye. “It’s so unique in its creation and how it becomes a pearl. Pearls come in different colors and shapes, but it’s still a pearl.”
She said more than 99 nations are represented.
Initially, she got some flak from other women who felt that the goal of the page was taking away from Harris’ accomplishments.
Aloaye, though, disputes that. “We’re celebrating her. It’s more than being about one person. It’s about empowered women, empowering women. We want to keep all the negativity out. We want to start dealing with some of things that we, as women, have to deal with.”
Women have gone to the Facebook page to post photos of themselves wearing pearls. They have included masks decorated with pearls, family heirlooms, Chuck Taylor sneakers — which Harris wore on the campaign trail — adorned with pearls and elaborate jewelry.
There are other groups celebrating the day as well. Chucks and Pearls Day January 20th, 2021 was formed a few weeks ago but three friends, Jeanette DeVaughn and co-founders, Sharon Warren and Marilyn Toliver. Felicia Cheek, one of the moderators, said the group now has nearly 73,000 members.
On Wednesday, people will post photos of themselves wearing Chuck Taylor sneakers and pearls. ”Chucks and pearls are her style,” said Cheek, who plans to watch the inauguration at home. “It represents her confidence. It shows she’s comfortable but she’s super, super smart and super inspiring.”
“I admire the way women all over this country are coming together on one accord,” said McKinnon. “My mom was a strong woman. (Her pearls) made her radiate. People are going to look back on this day. We did it for Michelle Obama and we’re doing for it Kamala Harris. We’re going to show our unity, our strength and our ability as women.”