Talladega Band In Trouble Over Trump

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Talladega Marching Band and Donald Trump

Entertainment –
Talladega Band In Trouble
Over Trump

The historically black Talladega College has ignited such controversy by accepting an invitation for its band to march in Donald Trump’s inaugural parade, that the college president is now being forced to reconsider the decision.

Talladega College was founded by former slaves in 1857 and is Alabama’s oldest private, historically black liberal arts college.  The Talladega College Marching Tornadoes band accepted an invitation to participate in Trump’s January 20th inaugural parade, however, that decision has since been met with immediate backlash from current students, alumni, civil rights groups, and African-Americans from coast to coast.

“We were a bit horrified to hear of the invitation,” said Shirley Ferrill of Fairfield, Alabama, a member of Talladega’s Class of 1974. “Ignore, decline or whatever, but please don’t send our band out in our name to do that.”


Talladega COLLEGE


Talladega College deserves all the backlash they’re getting !!

— Jas ???? (@jasdasavage) January 2, 2017


Shame on #talladegacollege ! Do not sell your souls! I hope there are protests and discussions underway on campus to stop this outrage.

— Marilyn Richardson (@MarilynElaine) January 2, 2017


“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.”

College President Billy C. Hawkins has since been presented with 2 petitions: one organized by current student Dollan Young in favor of performing, and the other by Talladega graduate Shirley Ferrill against participating.

“In view of his behavior and comments, I strongly do not want Talladega College to give the appearance of supporting him,” Ferrill wrote in her petition, which had garnered more than 900 supporters as of Tuesday night.

“We believe that this parade is not about politics it’s about seeing first hand the process of a transition,” Talladega student and band member Dollan Young wrote in his petition, which had garnered close to 200 signatures by Tuesday night.  He added that taking part in the inaugural would not be in support of a political party, but rather “about the experience that the students will obtain.”

The discussion in favor of and against participating has sparked a passionate debate.

College President Billy C. Hawkins

Band member Shylexis Robinson said she was excited about the invitation and felt the performance would “put our school on the map.”  She added that the band’s participation wasn’t “about Donald Trump himself, it’s about our school. And I’m all about our school and all about the band.”

Edna Garrett, of Talladega disagreed, saying that any association with Trump and negativity surrounding him wouldn’t benefit Talladega.

“I don’t really see how it would uplift the school in any way,” she said.

Despite the nearly 150-year history of the college, the 297-member marching band was only founded in 2012 and has since received limited exposure.

Hawkins is expected to announce his decision later today.

To date, only 3 acts have accepted invitations to perform for Donald Trump at his inauguration: the Radio City Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 16-year-old “America’s Got Talent” star Jackie Evancho.

The Mormon choir has performed at 5 previous presidential inaugurations.  However, vocalist Jan Chamberlin chose to quit the choir rather that sing for Trump, saying the performance would betray her values.

Members of the Radio City Rockettes begged their performer’s union for a provision not to entertain Trump. Following an online public protest from dancer Phoebe Pearl, the Madison Square Garden Company (which owns Radio City) has since said in a statement that individual Rockettes will not be compelled to participate at the inauguration.

As Donald Trump’s entertainment options continue to crumble, at least one performer is eager to perform — under one condition.

Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson, a former runner-up on the British reality TV talent competition “X Factor,” said she will happily accept Trump’s invitation to sing if she is allowed to perform the tune “Strange Fruit.”

The song, which was made famous by the late jazz singer Billie Holiday, is in protest of racism and lynching in the South. “Strange Fruit” is also a term many Americans consider Trump to be.

As more and more performers continue to drop out or simply refuse to have anything to do with the upcoming inauguration, Donald Trump has predictably gone on the defensive.

After literally begging A-list celebrities to entertain and even offering 6 to 7 figure performance salaries to no avail, the incoming White House occupant is now trying to save face, claiming he only wants “the PEOPLE” at his inauguration.

“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!


OK WASSUP! covers entertainment:
Talladega College Marching Band
in trouble over Trump.


DJ is the creator and editor of OK WASSUP! He is also a Guest Writer/Blogger, Professional and Motivational Speaker, Producer, Music Consultant, and Media Contributor. New York, New York USA

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6 Comments on "Talladega Band In Trouble Over Trump"

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Junior Member

Re: the Talladega Marching Band

Honestly, when I first read about this story yesterday, I thought – what special kind of *Stupid* is the College President (Billy C. Hawkins) to accept an invitation from such a reprehensible charlatan in the first place?!

i mean…did Hawkins truly NOT anticipate receiving some serious backlash from this?

No disrespect to any of the band members who support accepting the invitation. But I'm with Ms. Garrett on this:

“I don’t really see how it would uplift the school in any way."

In fact, I think it could actually hurt the school…now and in years to come.

Re: Rebecca Ferguson accepting the invitation but only if she can sing "Strange Fruit"

When I first read about this story yesterday, I thought – Brilliant.

Mr. BD
Mr. BD

A black college founded by slaves has no business doing anything for Donald Trump period. Like the lady said, they should not be shucking and jiving for him down Pennsylvania avenue because it gives the impression they support him. If the band needs some exposure then there are other ways to get it besides working for Trump. I am with the alumni on this one. Do like everybody else and pass this opportunity by.


Notoriety is a much more suitable adjective..
Uplifting is an oxymoron in this context.

Junior Member

Update: Posted at 7:04 PM last night (Wed. Jan. 4, 2017)


Hawkins was expected to announce his decision Wednesday, school spokesman Greg Wilson told CNN. But another school official, spokeswoman Veronica Clark-Holland, told CNN late Wednesday that any decision was unlikely to be announced during the evening.

Clark-Holland said Hawkins had been meeting with board members all day, but no decision had been reached.

Hawkins was scheduled to appear Wednesday on "CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon, but canceled the appearance. [….]


Just now from CNN: The marching band of a small historically black college in Alabama will participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural Parade, the school's president announced Thursday. The decision follows several days of controversy after the Talladega Marching Tornadoes initially accepted an invitation to perform on January 20, with critics saying the move amounts to support for President-elect Donald Trump. Trump made comments during the presidential campaign that were widely viewed as disparaging to people of color and immigrants. Talladega College President Billy C. Hawkins announced the final decision in a statement, noting that the "lessons students can learn from this experience cannot be taught in a classroom." "We respect and appreciate how our students and alumni feel about our participation in this parade," said Hawkins. "As many of those who chose to participate in the parade have said, we feel the inauguration of a new president is not… Read more »
Junior Member

Thanks for this update Wi.

I don't see how this decision will serve any good purpose for this HBC…smh.

But it is certainly their right to make that decision.

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