The United States Military Academy at West Point will see an historic number of black women graduate from its institution this year.
According to The Philadelphia Tribune, 32 African American women will be graduating from the military academy later this month, the largest group in its 216-year history.
“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,” Tiffany Welch-Baker, one of the cadets set to graduate, told Because of Them We Can, a publicationthat seeks to highlight inspiring stories about the African American community.
“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,” Welch-Baker continued.
According to the Tribune, an African American cadet didn’t graduate from the academy, which was founded in 1802, until 1877.
The news arrives two years after the academy appointed a black woman, Simone Askew, to be the first captain of the Corps of Cadets for the first time.