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There is nothing that compares
to a HBCU Homecoming. It is
more than just a football game;
it is a family gathering, soul food
extravaganza, community fellowship,
youth inspiration for the excitement
of college, Battle of the Bands
showdown and in some ways a
spiritual experience
covering generations of families.

The beginning of Homecoming starts well before the game;
it is a weeklong celebration capitulation.  Surrendering to
the rich beat of continuous music, the enjoyment of food
ranging from traditional Bar B Que to cultural dishes of
African, Caribbean meals and down home Southern cuisines.

This year’s FAMU Homecoming was no different than pasts,
a sea of orange and green with Alumni from all parts of this
great county displaying the characteristic pride of Rattlers who
successfully graduated from this historic HBCU of
Tallahassee, Florida. Current students participating in week
long events from fraternity and sorority step/stomp shows to
the inclusion of cultural events.

Attending with my son who is a sophomore at FAMU I
witnessed the pride in the eyes that were in attendance.
The smiles that showed fond memories and the holding of
hands of our seasoned seniors dressed from head to toe with
orange and green attire. This is the power, excitement and
spirit of Homecoming at FAMU.

Highlighted this year the Alumni band and cheerleaders
entertained the thousands in attendance with “Ole Skool”
style dance moves, musical scores and “Drop It Like Its Hot”
grooves that brought standing ovations and wild cheers from
the crowd. This was just to warm up the crowd for the
internationally acclaimed FAMU Rattler Band to perform. 

Accompanying the band the Alumni cheerleaders both male
and female and outstanding Flag Team performed with
professionalism and style. Tumblers performed flips, twirls,
cartwheels and gymnastic feats that defied not only gravity,
but age. The saying “Old Skool is the New Skool” is an
understatement to the artistic and talented moves, grooves
and swagger of Alumni that did it in the past and can still can
“Drop It Like Its Hot” and pull it back up again without
missing a beat.

The fierceness of the Rattlers definitely had an effect on
the weather. Forecasted to rain, the clouds dared not drop
heavy precipitation to rainout this Homecoming for fear of
the Rattlers legendary bite, and I’m sure there were many
prayers that made a big difference as well.

What should not be overlooked was the HBCU respect and
fellowship that is found at HBCU Homecomings.  No matter
what school or the competition, HBCU’s always show respect
that is given and respect that is accepted. This is what
creates treasured memories for graduates of HBCU’s across
this country. They create traditions that generations follow
in attendance, that motivate families to send their children
to HBCU’s to receive a quality and culturally empowering

I’m a graduate of South Carolina State University and my
son is a student at Florida A&M University, by fiancée’s son
Daryl is a graduate of FAMU and now working on his Master's
at FAMU.

When time comes for my daughter to attend college she
too will attend an HBCU for the quality education that it
provides and “real world” education that prepares it’s graduates
not only to compete on national and international levels,
but to be successful in life and look back to help others up
the ladders of career successes.

The football game was awesome, entertaining and electrifying,
but Homecoming is more than a game it is a feeling, a tradition
and if a person goes away without a spiritual connection of
some kind they have missed the bonding and fellowshipping.
This fellowship will be with those in attendance for years if
not a lifetime and grows each year families come back to
experience a Homecoming.

More pictures at: http://photobucket.com/famuhomecoming

William Jackson, M.Ed.
FAMU Homecoming 2011

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