Black women are continuing to break barriers at Harvard University. This year marked the first time in the prestigious institution’s history that four of Harvard’s schools were led by African-American women. Now a junior at the institution has hit a major milestone by becoming the first Black woman president of its student newspaper, CNN reported.
Kristine E. Guillaume was appointed to lead the Harvard Crimson making her the first African-American woman to become president of the paper since it launched in 1873, the news outlet writes. The Harvard Crimson is reportedly the country’s oldest college newspaper. Guillaume—who is an African-American studies major—worked her way up the ranks after joining the Harvard Crimson team as a reporter. The Queens, New York native joins a list of the publication’s distinguished editors that includes former president Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
Guillaume hopes that her appointment will help Black and Brown students feel a stronger sense of belonging at Harvard. “If my election has validated anyone’s experience or validated anyone’s belonging in Crimson, then my hard work will be worth it and will continue to be worth it,” she told CNN. “I want people to think about how to navigate and feel like they can and get through their education and feel like they do belong here. That’s a big thing for me.”
There have been several conversations happening surrounding the Black experience at Ivy League schools. A docuseries dubbed Now in Color was created to examine how Black students navigate the Ivy League world and provide new perspectives surrounding race in higher education. “The main objective is to resist a monolithic representation of blackness, and to enumerate and expand representation of black voices and black stories,” said creator J. Joseph.