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Thursday, February 22, 2024

20-year-old Lady emerges first-ever black woman to be president of Harvard newspaper, breaks 145-year-old record

A 20-year-old lady named Kristine E. Guillaume has emerged as the first-ever black female to be elected as the president of Harvard newspaper since its inception in 1873.

Kristine E. Guillaume is a Haitian-Chinese woman living with her immigrant parent. She is a junior studying literature, history, and African-American studies at Harvard University.

The Harvard Crimson newspaper is the United States’ oldest daily student paper, it has previously been headed by notable personalities such as former US presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, former Microsoft head Steve Ballmer, and CNN head Jeff Zucker.

Kristen was elected as the president and chief editor recently making her the third black editor and the first black women editor in the paper’s 145 years of history.

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She was appointed to the role after promising to guide the paper, which has struggled with diversity, towards a more diverse and digital future that would welcome students from all backgrounds.

“I’m proud to be a part of making the Crimson a more welcoming place, and to step into this role as the first black woman, “Kristen said. If by taking this role, I help affirm another Crimson staffer’s sense of belonging and ownership over the work that they do, I think that makes all of the hard work worth it,” she added.

Kristen says that she developed an interest in journalism while growing up in Queens. Explaining how her father would take her and her siblings to a diner and ask them to read Times columns by David Brooks and Paul Krugman.

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“Both of my parents have a strong emphasis on education and knowing what’s going on in the world around us,” she said.

Kristen is one of the Crimson’s noted staff as a central administration reporter. She also serves as a chair on the paper’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, working to ensure the paper provides a safe space for their diverse staff.

Commenting on how she was able to pull through as a black woman, Kristen mentioned that she navigated her way without feeling like an outcast.

“At Harvard, you’re in a space that was made for white men, so if you’re not the cookie-cutter white man who Harvard was built for, it can be difficult to navigate being here,” she said.

She added that she wants every one whether black or white to always feel like they can do anything so far, they put their mind to and don’t feel like a castaway.

“I want people to think about how to navigate, and feel like they can and get through their education and feel like they do belong here. That’s a big thing for me,” she said.

Kristen plans to pursue a doctorate in African-American studies and a career in academia, with some writing on the side.

 

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