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America's first surviving Black sextuplets graduate from high school together

Kobe, Kaylynne, Kaleb, Kieran, Kyle, and Kiera Harris, who are America's first surviving Black sextuplets, graduated from high school earlier this month.

America's first surviving Black sextuplets graduate from high school together
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Chris Harris

When Diamond and Chris Harris decided to conceive in 2011, they were only really hoping for one baby. Diamond's first child from a previous relationship, Dewayne, was 5-years-old at the time, and the couple thought one more child would complete their family. However, getting pregnant proved to be harder than they'd imagined it would be, because two years into their marriage, they struggled to conceive. They finally decided to consult a fertility doctor who prescribed a hormone for Diamond and warned them not to get their hopes up too much.  So imagine their surprise when on July 8, 2002, Diamond gave birth to six babies.

Image Source: The Harris sextuplets sleep in the intensive care unit of the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by University of Alabama/Getty Images)

Fast forward to June 2020, and the Harris sextuplets are now high school graduates. Kobe, Kaylynne, Kaleb, Kieran, Kyle, and Kiera are America's first surviving Black sextuplets and graduated from high school earlier this month. As they embark on the next phase of their lives, their parents admit they've been feeling a little sad. "The morning of the ceremony, I sat in bed looking at their baby pictures and felt depressed," Diamond, who is a nurse, told TODAY. "It's going to be too quiet." As difficult it's going to be to see them leave home, the sextuplet's parents have found comfort in knowing that they'll at least pop in from time to time to do laundry as all six kids are continuing their education in their native Alabama.


While "girly-girl" Kiera is heading off to Lawson State Community College to study cosmetology, her "outspoken" sister, Kaylynne, has decided to pursue a physical therapy program at the Alabama State University. Kaleb—the "father figure" of the bunch—and Kieran—the "thoughtful one"—plan to attend Alabama A&M for computer science and arts respectively. Kobe, described by his mom as "Mr. Smooth" wants to play college baseball and will be joining Kaylynne at Alabama State University. Meanwhile, Kyle, the 6-foot-4 "gentle giant" who has autism, is set to pursue a life skills program.


"These kids have been my life for almost 18 years. They have been my reason," Chris, a second-grade teacher, told TODAY Parents. "I keep reminding myself it’s just going to be different, but everything will be OK." The 46-year-old pointed out that the family has adapted to big changes in the past, referring to his and Diamond's divorce in 2012 and their subsequent remarriages. "Chris and I, we’re best friends," Diamond revealed. "I love his wife too. I talk to her all the time. I told Chris the other day, 'She's my wife.’"


"They get the best of both of their parents now," Chris added. The sextuplets are set to celebrate their 18th birthday next month and will start packing up their rooms in August. Speaking of his life once they leave for college, Chris admitted he will miss doing projects with the kids and Monday pizza night. Meanwhile, Diamond revealed that she will miss listening to the teens chattering in their special multiples language.



"No one else can understand what they’re saying," she explained. "I'll be like 'Slow down, enunciate. And they look at me all confused, like 'how did you not catch that?' It's been that way since they started talking." The Harris sextuplets made quite a few headlines at the time of their birth and for the first few years after that as one of only six surviving sets of sextuplets in the United State. Speaking to Dateline NBC shortly after they turned one, Diamond explained that they had scores of volunteers from all over Birmingham stepping in to help take care of the babies.


"We had a whole bunch of volunteers in the beginning. They were there at the time in the beginning when they were waking up every three or four hours at night. Every three or four hours in the day. And when I wasn't getting any rest, it got so bad, I would shake trying to mix their bottles because I was just so sleep-deprived," she said. 

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