Family & Parenting

The First U.S. Set Of Black Sextuplets Just Graduated High School

Congratulations to the Harris kids!

The first surviving set of African American sextuplets recently graduated from high school in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Harris sextuplets — Kiera Christine, Kaylynne Antoinett, Kaleb Reddrick, Kobe Byshari, Kieran Anthony and Kyle Jacob — were born on July 7, 2002.

Before the sextuplets, their parents, Chris and Diamond Harris, had one son, Dewayne, whom they wanted to give a sibling or two to play with. Fertility treatments led to what the couple thought was a pregnancy with five babies. During delivery, the sixth child, Kyle, was a surprise.

You can see all six babies as they looked shortly after they were born in a Facebook picture posted by dad Chris.

And here’s what they looked like after they were released from the hospital.

As they grew up, the Harris sextuplets had brushes with fame. They were in a Discovery Health documentary and also appeared on Oprah in 2007, as seen below.

In 2009, the family got a new house via the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” but have always had to stretch things financially — especially since all child expenses were multiplied by seven (Dewayne included).

Chris is a teacher and Diamond was originally a nurse until she quit her job to care for her new sextuplets. The couple divorced in 2012 and have both remarried.

And now after finishing their senior year at Center Point High School on June 2, the Harris sextuplets are all headed off to higher learning.

Kiera will attend Lawson State Community College for cosmetology, Kaylynne and Kobe will go to Alabama State University for physical therapy and athletics respectively, and Kaleb and Kieran are headed to Alabama A&M for computer science and art respectively. Kyle, who was born last but is now the tallest of the sextuplets at 6 foot 4 inches, has autism and will be doing a life skills program, “Today” reports.

Here are all six lined up in their caps and gowns.

During a group interview, the family told local TV station WBRC that the tuition is being covered by “scholarships, prayer, Jesus … grants.”

Proud dad Chris put together a graduation video that compiles photos of the sextuplets over the years. He also made individual videos for each of the sibling graduates.

Both Chris and Diamond said they are going to miss their kids a lot. But Diamond also told WBRC with a wry smile that she has plans for their bedrooms after they head off to college.

While the Harris sextuplets are the first surviving set of African American sextuplets, they aren’t the first such siblings. In 1998, Linden and Jacqueline Thompson had the first recorded set of Black sextuplets though one of their children was stillborn.

There are some other famous Black sextuplets born in the U.S., too. The McGhee sextuplets, born in 2010 in Ohio, went viral for a photo of them sleeping on their dad as babies. The McGhees went on to star in two reality shows. In 2017, Nigerian couple Adeboye and Ajibola Taiwo had sextuplets in Virginia, and in 2019, Thelma Chiaka gave birth to sextuplets in Texas.

The odds of having sextuplets are 1 in 4.7 billion. Wow!

This story originally appeared on Simplemost.