For the first time in its history, San Jose State University, California’s oldest state university, has a black homecoming queen AND king: seniors Daniel Harris-Lucas, 23, and Diana Busaka, 22, who received their crowns and sashes this Thursday.
The school has named a black student queen before, but it’s never had a duo, a handy historical fact that pairs well with San Jose State’s place in Civil Rights history as the school that had two of its student athletes (sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos) give the black power salute during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. San Jose State, a school that prides itself on diversity, has about 34,000 black students, and the selection of homecoming royalty isn’t a mere ballot-casting popularity contest. There are applicants, and they have to submit resumes, personal statements, and those tricky letters of recommendation that make bridge burning such a fraught endeavor.
In other words, Harris-Lucas and Busaka’s reign is a big deal, though probably, according to Harris-Lucas, a belated big deal: “It’s a great accomplishment. But it’s probably overdue. I’m glad to be part of history. But this probably should have happened years ago.”