The inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris takes place Wednesday (January 20). The ceremony will look different as the nation continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic and in the wake of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Details of the ceremony have been kept on the hush for the most part, but some key differences have been released.
Both Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga are expected to perform during the ceremony which is set to take place at the Capitol. Incoming cabinet members, Supreme Court Justices, as well as outgoing VP Mike Pence are expected to be in attendance.
The National Mall will be closed to keep crowds away, but more than 20,000 members of the National Guard will be scattered throughout the city in response to the deadly violence during Congress’ certification of the electoral college votes.
The FBI warned law enforcement agencies in all 50 states to prepare for armed protests at their respective capitol buildings.
The TSA is also weighing implementing additional restrictions on airplanes ahead of the day.
Biden, who routinely took the Amtrak train from Wilmington, Delaware to travel to Washington, D.C., won’t be taking the train into the capital this time due to heightened security measures.
Instead, Biden will be spending the night in Blair House across from the White House the night before the Inauguration.
There’s usually multiple inaugural balls following the day’s ceremony, this year, however, there will be a star-studded TV production.
Recognizing Black America At The Inauguration
To celebrate the millions of Black voters that helped carry Biden to victory, the day will also include specific events to commemorate Black culture, history, and activism. Remarks by several Black leaders including House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn are expected throughout the day.
Kamala Harris is slated to speak at the "We Are One" event in recognition of her history election as the first Black and South Asian and the first woman to hold the office of the Vice President.
Harris is also the first graduate of an HBCU to hold office in the White House and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Wayne Frederick, Howard University's president, as well as the sorority's international president Dr. Glenda Glover will speak.
Stacey Abrams, whose voter rights efforts helped flip Georgia blue, will also be speaking. Rep. Cedric Richmond, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Joyce Beatty, Sen. Cory Booker, and Senator-elect Raphael Warnock will also be speaking at the event.
The Biden-Harris administration will have a lot of work on their desks as the enter office. A raging pandemic, its devastating economic fallout, insurrection and domestic terrorist threats, and a host of other issues face the nation.
Many are looking to the incoming leaders to navigate the country through these many challenges.
Photo: Getty Images