ORLANDO — Take away the players’ parents, event workers, and even the players themselves, and there weren’t a lot of Black folk seen at this year’s Citrus Bowl. There was an obvious “color” contrast among the reported 48,624 spectators at last week’s Minnesota-Missouri football game at the Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando. The MSR, during its pregame stadium walk-around, ran into a few “connected” Blacks who were at the game simply because they knew someone who was a participant:
Such as the Wilson family from Philadelphia, there to watch 14-year-old Akua Wilson perform as part of the All American Halftime Show. “This is a good experience for her,” said her father, Leonard Wilson, Sr.
“Our [Black] kids don’t usually see much out of a 10-block radius in Philadelphia,” Wilson told us. “To experience something like this allows them to see the world from different perspectives. Continue Reading →
I’ve attended my share of Gopher football games over the years, but those games are mostly anti-climatic and the home school band painfully plays the same tired old songs. I have yet to see in person a Black college football game, but a good friend of mine tells me once you go Black (college football), you don’t go back. “Unlike major college football, Black college football is the African American pastime,” states Mark Gray, who broadcasts HBCU games for the Heritage Sports Radio Network. It “is part cultural, part show. It touches a place in your soul that you didn’t know was there until it gets there.”
Black college bands and their halftime shows are as much an integral part of Black college football as the teams. “I know a lot of people want to see those bands as part of the overall [Black college] experience,” says Gray. “At major college games, people leave [their seats] at halftime to get their refreshments. Continue Reading →