HBCU Homecoming — The Black Mecca

HBCU Homecoming
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During the Fall of each year, Black people converge at Historically Black College and University campuses around the country for what is known as HBCU Homecoming — The Black Mecca. Thousands of the Black community’s educated go back to their intellectual roots, which is the place where they were taught as an adult the essence of Blackness, and it is also where they were most culturally affirmed. It is a party and campus reunion of grand proportions, where Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials come together to show love and respect for their alma mater. Black people educated within the HBCU context of intellectualism take a moment to return to where it all began, a time when Black cultural immersion sets the standard and expectation.  Thus, the HBCU Homecoming is suggestive of the widespread, genuine, accessible, and uplifting social cohesion we need to see more of every day in the Black community.

Black harmony is in abundance at HBCU Homecomings. At this year’s Atlanta University Center Homecomings, college alum gathered to celebrate their educational legacy. The breadth of this harmony is undeniably refreshing in an era of renewed anti-Blackness. The unity at the AUC homecomings and others was widespread and efficacious, where together Black people embraced their cultural ethic of sisterhood and brotherhood. With dissensions on pause, the higher good of the Black community was celebrated and inculcated to highlight the purpose and power of a unified stance.  At Homecoming this cohesion is pervasive, as even the local communities come out to take part in this festive show of togetherness. It represents the energy we need to see not only at Homecoming but every day in the Black community where our divides are ever present and seemingly multiplied at our dispersion.

HBCU Homecoming also indicates an unpretentious longing and need for Black community. From the tailgating to the pleasant sounds of dialog about the yesteryears, HBCU Homecoming presents an authentic moment of shared cultural experience. It is as if the attendees come to HBCU Homecoming just to capture the genuine nature of Black unity. There is little to no pretense as the communication and affiliation are filtered through the lens of what brings us together and promises to hold us together as we part to return to do it all over again next year. It is an authenticity we need every day—not only during homecoming.  With similar sincerity, we need to leave HBCU Homecoming to return to our local communities extending bona fide awareness and appreciation of black social cohesion.

As well, HBCU Homecoming serves to prompt us toward a Black solidarity that is attainable and sustainable. Media coverage often focuses on pejorative examples of Black gatherings that tend to normalize an insidious rift within the Black community. There is limited widespread coverage about what happens at HBCU Homecomings. This year, Homecoming 2017, hundreds of Morris Brown College alum gathered in Atlanta to cheer their alma mater on through the difficult times since losing accreditation hoping together for MBCs return to her prime. Moreover, little coverage has been offered to show forth the accessible energy of the Black gathering featured powerfully at Morehouse College’s 2017 Homecoming where for miles around solidarity was apparent and even extended. While there were few, some non-Blacks were present in the profuse crowds—welcomed and safe to become a part of the HBCU Homecoming phenomenon. Such happenings serve to show just how accessible this cohesion is every day and how it can not only improve Black life but is also a viable point in which we consider the value and necessity of inclusion.

The HBCU Homecoming reminds us of the widespread, genuine, and accessible social cohesion of the Black community needed every day, and it also demonstrates an inspiring appeal for the Black social experience. At HBCU Homecomings, Black-owned businesses are the standard of enterprise. Black business owners display their entrepreneurial competency among an embracing and supportive crowd, as the Black dollar is poured back into uplifting the Black communities’ economic standing. With reports that future Black wealth is projected to continue to decline, it is necessary to play some consumerist economics to pour back into Black communities often in the margins within the broader frameworks of society. The HBCU Homecoming also uplifts the historically Black institution and encourages alumni to give back to their schools so that they may continue to build and revive the Black community. And HBCU Homecomings feature a proliferation of the Black arts. It is our modern day Harlem Renaissance, where the subject matter of black life is revitalized and regulative.

HBCU Homecomings happen only once a year; however, they serve a more extending purpose.  The resounding participation at HBCU Homecomings recaps just how much we still need the HBCU experience as a part of the Black experience and even more, the American experience. So until we meet again next year, may the power of the HBCU Homecoming daily live, influence, and empower us in our local social spaces.

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