History has been made at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This year marks largest class of Black women to graduate from West Point.
Because Of Them We Can reports 32 Black women graduated from West Point. cadet Tiffany Welch-Baker told the outlet, “My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability and fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with.” She also said, “In just a short while I met so many cadets that looked like me, and that offered me some comfort. I have been fortunate to have my sisters in arms, we have been fortunate to have each other.”
See the beautiful photo below:
Nearly two years ago, 20-year-old Cadet Simone Askew—who is from Fairfax, Virginia—made history as the first Black woman to take on the role of the first captain of the Corps of Cadets. Askew, who is studying international history at West Point, serves as a liaison between the corps and West Point’s administration.
The Washington Post reported in a statement, Brig. Gen. Steven W. Gilland said about Askew, “Simone truly exemplifies our values of Duty, Honor, Country. Her selection is a direct result of her hard work, dedication and commitment to the Corps over the last three years.”
Women weren’t allowed to enroll in West Point, which was founded 217 years ago, until 1976. Last year, women accounted for only 20 percent of cadets.
That said, just last year, West Point were investigating 16 Black women graduating cadets after a picture of the group raising their fists went viral. They were in threat of not graduating but the academy determined they did not violate a directive that warns against “partisan political activity.
NBC News reported at the the time, “It was intended to demonstrate ‘unity’ and ‘pride,’ according to the findings of the inquiry.” They all ended up graduating. See the photo below:
Also, last July, West Point appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first Black superintendent.
Congrats to this year’s graduating class!