January 20, 2021
Steve Benjamin, the Democratic mayor of Columbia, S.C., watched the inauguration at home with his teenage daughters.
He said they could look out their living-room window and see a lemon tree that 15-year-old Bethany and 13-year-old Jordan Grace planted last August, on the day President Biden named Kamala Harris as his vice presidential choice.
“It was a historic moment,” Mr. Benjamin said. “It is a fruit-bearing tree.”
Mr. Benjamin, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, a historic Black fraternity, escorted Ms. Harris to a Columbia gala sponsored by her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority two years ago at the beginning of her short-lived presidential run.
He said the inauguration was a balm after the strife of the election and the past few weeks.
“All politics aside, it speaks to the great hope of America,” he said. “We are indeed a place where anyone, regardless of social status, ethnicity, gender, race, can achieve great things. Every once in a while we need to remind ourselves of that.”