"It was an honor to have been chosen to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Ms. Trammel, a 1st-grade teacher at Wesley says about her experience participating in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
She received an email from her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, advising they would be performing in the Macy’s Parade. They send out a brief routine for anyone interested in being included in the Zeta Centennial Steppers team to rehearse and record a video submission. “I stepped out of my COVID comfort zone,” she says, “became a risk-taker and submitted a video. Little did I know, I was asked to become part of the 30 women team. Sorors from all over the US were asked to participate!”
The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was the first historically black Greek organization to participate in the longest-running show on Broadway. Ms. Trammel says, “I am still in awe that I was a part of history…I was extremely happy to participate during our centennial year.” Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups; to centralize its operations in a national headquarters; and to be constitutionally bound to a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
“So to add another first AND be a part of it means the world to me,” Trammel says. “It was an incredible moment for black Greek letter organizations to share their history and cultural traditions. Being that our Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris, is a member of the Divine 9, it allowed the world to get a closer glimpse of the amazing work the Divine 9 does within their communities around the world as well.”
Ms. Trammel says she enjoyed the sisterhood most. “In the midst of a pandemic, it was an incredible feeling being surrounded by other strong, amazing women who all shared the sorority’s principles of scholarship, service, sisterhood, and finer womanhood – always striving to be a better woman in every way!” The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a staple in her household growing up and she was excited to connect with her sister in person, even though they continue to talk in a GroupMe every day.
Of course, the parade was a bit different this year. Being behind-the-scenes in a COVID parade, Ms. Trammel saw the extreme organization that kind of event takes. “There were last-minute updates and schedule changes, but they were communicated effectively and we never missed a beat! There were several zoom meetings prior to the big day where COVID precautions were discussed at great length. I appreciated the amount of planning that was put into ensuring everyone was safe and tested. Prior to coming to New York, the team had to receive a negative test result within 3 days of travel,” she says. “Once we arrived, Macy’s had all parade participants be tested as well. Once we received our “ready to work” text, which gave us our negative results, we had to show them each time we entered the parade area, in addition to getting our temperatures checked.”
Ms. Trammel adds a final word of thanks: “Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation I have for my organization and everyone who played a role in making this year’s parade a memorable one for all.”