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The marching band of Alabama’s oldest private, historically black liberal arts college has accepted an invitation to perform at President-elect Donald Trump‘s inaugural parade, organizers said.

Talladega College’s band will march at Trump’s inauguration as other historically black schools such as Howard University, which performed at President Barack Obama’s first inaugural parade, said they won’t be marching in the Jan. 20 event.

“We were a bit horrified to hear of the invitation,” said Shirley Ferrill of Fairfield, Alabama, a member of Talladega’s Class of 1974.

“I don’t want my alma mater to give the appearance of supporting him,” Ferrill said of Trump on Monday. “Ignore, decline or whatever, but please don’t send our band out in our name to do that.”

The move has lit up Talladega College’s social media sites with a sharp debate about the band’s decision to participate in the parade. Some people voiced strong opposition, while others support the band’s participation.

“After how black people were treated at Trump’s rallies, you’re going to go and shuck and jive down Pennsylvania Avenue? For what?” Seinya SamForay said in an interview. “What they did is a slap in the face to other black universities.”

SamForay, of Chicago, was among dozens of people commenting on the school’s social media sites.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Friday that the Talladega College Marching Tornadoes was among 40 groups, including high school bands and military organizations, scheduled to perform in the parade. Some members of the Marist College band in upstate New York, also scheduled to perform at the inauguration, say they won’t participate, a school spokesman said Monday.

Ron White of Atlanta, a 1997 graduate of another historically black college, Fort Valley State University in Georgia, said he questioned why band members from Talladega “should be playing all these patriotic tunes for someone who has degraded us.”

At the same time, though, White said he respects the office of the president and he hopes that Talladega’s band does well.

“What they should do in my opinion is play that national anthem the best way they’ve ever played it in their life, because you’re basically saluting the country,” White said in an interview.

The nation’s historically black colleges and universities instill in students the idea that “ignored behavior is condoned behavior,” said Reese Walker of Memphis, who marched in the band at Mississippi Valley State University. That’s one reason he doesn’t think Talladega College should participate.

Talladega College officials haven’t returned several phone calls and emails seeking comment.

The college was founded in 1867, by the descendants of the slaves who helped to build its first building, according to historical documents on the college’s website.

The decision to march in Trump’s inaugural parade has also sparked controversy at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The band will be marching, but some of its members will be staying home, school spokesman Greg Cannon said Monday.

“They don’t want to have anything to do with the inauguration or President Trump and we respect that, and that’s their right,” Cannon said.

“We’re not looking to put anybody in a spot that conflicts with their personal beliefs,” he added.

About six to eight Marist band members among more than 100 have said they won’t perform, Cannon said. He said there won’t be any repercussions for those students, and they will still have a place in the band when it returns from Washington, D.C.

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52 thoughts on “HBCU Band To March At Inauguration, Igniting Controversy

  1. FallMornings on said:

    Since many of us will not be watching the Inauguration, why not go into your communities and do some good. How bout helping the schools. With over-crowding at an all time high, I’m sure help would be appreciated. Get together and plant a community garden or open a business and hire our own. Instead of complaining, do something!

  2. Bobby Groves on said:

    We can”t raise money to match what DT might payout for the band?
    Yes, that might open up doors for others to try the same to get similar results $$ but no HBCU should have to make a decision because of lack of money.

  3. They need to stop all the shucking and jiving… marching for someone who hates them. What a disgrace to our ancestors. The parents of the students need to take a stand.

  4. Suzzie on said:

    If you look at the school’s financials you maybe able to see where the money came from…. the “donation”. Follow the money……

    • DR. FRANKLIN on said:

      can you call the college to voice your disappointment and protest ??

      what HBC need is for trump to commit (like Hillary did) to continued and increased funding — a black college marching to a racist tyrant dictator who SUPRRESSES VOTE and speaks to and for the KKK gives this legitimacy and credence to racism and bullying …. very, very sad what people will do for short-term attention … no integrity, no “historic” perspective from a historical black college …

  5. Marilyn on said:

    Talladega should be ashamed. Trump has a white nationalist bigot as his chief of staff; a nominee for attorney general who is such a bigot that he did not get enough votes to be a federal judge years ago; and many cabinet nominees who want to destroy Pres. Obama’s legacy, most notably health care – and in spite of all this we have an HBCU who is willing to turn a blind eye to this devastation? Unbelievable! All the alumni should be up in arms.

  6. These kids are going to be part of history and they are smart enough to realize it. You haters, on the other hand….not so smart.

  7. Boy what a bunch of haters. Are you people going to allow yourselves to be this miserable for the next 8 years? Trump’s goal is to make this country greater. Greater for all citizens

    • dvgvintage on said:

      What freaking planet are you living on Larry?? Eight (8) years?? The CLOWN only gets 4 years for his term. You are as dumb and ignorant as the Orange Clown

      • I can provide economic indicators that he will reign as President for 8 years, you however, can only provide insults, vulgarity, and hate on your side of the “debate”.

  8. Monique Gary on said:

    I hope Talledaga realizes the error of its ways and backs out of this mess. No self-respecting black person in this country should EVER consider performing in this clown’s inauguration.

  9. What is really sad about this is Trump think money can buy anybody and anything¡ He just use people fow what ever he need them for and then he is through with you. He don’t have to respect nothing and nobody!

  10. Where is the pride in performing before a man who is supported by the kkk, white nationalists hate groups, Russian hackers, right-wing conspiracy advocates and various other hate-mongers? Expect to be booed by Trump supporters, and try to imagine our ancestors turning over in their graves. BTW, for those attempting to compare Donald Trump with Barack Obama; Trump ran on a platform of dividing people based on their religion and nationality (remember building the wall?); Obama ran on a platform of hope.

  11. This is disgraceful! I am so sick of black people entertaining white America. Trump is a child rapist, sexual predator, liar, bigot, narcissist, and low down dirty man. I cannot believe that an HBCU will be performing at his inauguration. He is not fit to be president and this is not normal for America. The election was hacked and Trump knows exactly what Russia did to get him elected. He is a sellout president and he is going to get impeached. Trump knows that Russia hacked the electoral college and gave him the numbers to win in each state. All of this is going to come to the light before too long.

  12. Sad to see that so many people are still looking at this as a black/white issue. This is an historical event so they should accept the invitation. Instead of blaming the incoming administration why not put the blame where it belongs.

  13. Whatever13 on said:

    To Kate 1221

    Why don’t you call Trump and see if his pal David Duke can play for him, since you just don’t get it. Don’t dare compare Obama to Donald Trump.

  14. on said:

    Talladega, I don’t know what is being taught, but it’s strange that you can have a group of PhDs with African descent get together and decide that this is wise when this guy has a history of discrimination, disrespect, and disregard for our people. I’m a Rattler for life. I’m glad “The Hundred” won’t be shucking and jiving.

  15. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had white, Hispanic, Asian or any other race of band members had declined to perform at President Obama’s inauguration. Mr. Trump won. He will be the next POTUS. Passing up a chance to perform at a presidential inauguration is a decision that I suspect these whiny asses will regret later in life. These dingbats act as if Trump has asked them to come and entertain at his birthday party. It’s a presidential inauguration. Not a personal invite to come to his house to party with him. They are being asked to perform at a function that has to do with US tradition and history. Classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Damn people! Grow up already!

    • The criminal won by having criminals interfer with the election. Typical WT as your self, Racists, Bigots and Ignorant People are seeing how Stupid they are for voting for this criminal

    • Oh boo hoo. This country – especially the elected officials inCongress down to local school boards, has disrespected President Obama from day one and it will continue until January 20th. The inauguration will go on and we will have a disaster in the White House for 4 years or he is impeached whichever happens first. Be happy and don’t worry who marches and who doesn’t march in a parade.

  16. Mark Jackson on said:

    As a HBCU graduate, I am appalled that a HBCU would agree to perform for a man who has been OPENLY racist and has pushed race relations in this country back 100 years.

  17. Debby Burton on said:

    For all the people complaining here. How many of you Financially SUPPORT this or ANY Historically Black College/University??

  18. hoodtechie on said:

    i guess when obama was inaugurated and white schools declined to appear blacks would all be up in arms,right.trump won people get over it.truth be told all these hbcu’s that are declining to perform will be the same one’s in a few months begging the trump administration for money to help fund their schools.let’s just hope mr. trump isn’t so nasty toward them as they have been to him.remember what goes around comes around

  19. Tee Rene on said:

    Unfortunately, in this election Alabama was all RED, so now is not the time to act like the slaves have been freed. with 2% of the AA vote, they didn’t want to march to the polls, now they can march on command; slave mentality at its finest.

  20. Trump will thank the Blacks as he always says and they should not be surprised if they (the Band) do not get paid. Trump has an awful record of not paying his bills. It takes a whole lot of Cooning to entertain a man who has appointed a Racist to head the DOJ Jeff Sessions.

  21. The only reason why CHUMP extended an invitation to his inauguration is as a TOKEN gesture.

    Chump maybe received 2% of the African American vote and pandered and still embraces his RACIST’s supporters.

    Since I have no enthusiasm in viewing Chump’s festivities-Kudo’s to this HBCU for choosing to be nothing but mere token NEGROES in 2017!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Deborah Springer Suttlar on said:

      At some point we need to take a stand for right and wrong. Trump was wrong! He as the most vile candidate ever. He was racist, sexiat. Hateful, Xenophobic and bigoted. He started the Birth error controversy. He does not represent the values we say we represent as a country. So why be his entertainment? Do we have no standards or scruples? Is everything just about Us, being entertainment?

      • They view us as only being capable of entertaining, cooking and cleaning.. sadly we do. I say avoid them whenever possible’ I can do without.

      • Deb how bout’ a little song and dance before you get to cooking for us? Make those collard greens again, I do love me some soul food.

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