There are 32 Black women who are expected to graduate from The United States Military Academy at West Point later this month, and when they do, they will be the largest group of Black women to do so in the institutions 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,” cadet Tiffany Welch-Baker, one of the graduates told Because of Them We Can.“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.”

According to The Philadelphia Tribune, this is a far step in a good direction for the academy, which did not see a Black cadet graduate until 1877, some 75 years after it was initially founded.

This news comes two years after Simone Askew became the first Black woman to be appointed as West Point’s First Captain.

Just last year, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams also made history as the first Black superintendent of West Point.

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