Taking into consideration that Tennessee State University’s 2020 homecoming was virtual, this year’s live celebration was on time. The participation in all the sponsored activities was more than adequate and highly enjoyed by all. One can only speculate that participants felt safe and were not apologetic in getting out after being literally held captive in a COVID-19 induced hibernation for more than a year. All protocol was followed, producing an environment where people felt safe. TSU’s homecoming theme, ‘Return,’ was more than appropriate after the pandemic forced a nontraditional and virtual homecoming last year.
You could feel the love and spirit of those gathered acknowledging the greatness and pride they have in what many would agree is one of the most praised and regarded HBCU’s in the country. The only possible draw back for attendees would be in missing their former classmates who may have failed to come because of their reluctance to feel safe during this devastating epidemic. We all know that TSU’s homecoming is the epitome of what we consider a family reunion.
The weather may have been a little wet and dreary, but that did not hamper the invigorating energy and excitement manifested by those celebrating TSU’s homecoming. There was no lack of participation in the events throughout the week starting with a gospel show Sunday at Gentry Stadium, which set off Homecoming Week.
Coronation activities, numerous receptions, the Alumni Black-Out party, the concert, fish fry, pep rally, Scholarship Gala, parade, tailgate, football game, victory party and other private cookouts and gatherings only helped to season the favor of a tasteful and delightful homecoming. Showing respect for those who for health concerns may have chosen not to attend, attendees still felt the presence of their love and spirit. In fact, this homecoming only fortified and reverberated the love the alumni and the Nashville community has for this illustrious institution and the vital part it has played in their lives.
The Scholarship Gala featured Grammy award-winning artist Howard Hewett; radio personality Jasmine Sanders; and comedian/actor Rodney Perry as masters of ceremony. Many outstanding TSU alumni (Grand Marshal and Honorees) were showcased and honored. One could only be in awe at the monumental contributions achieved by those who have attended this iconic institution. TSU alumni have made a local, state, national, and international difference in making this a better world—especially as it pertains to exemplifying Black excellence. Once again, TSU has made many of its alumni and attending students realize there is nothing comparable to the HBCU experience as it plays an important role of awakening us and the world to our greatness.
Special thanks should be awarded to the Nashville community for their recognition and love in supporting what they truly hail as a beacon of pride, especially for the Black community. The world is a better place because of TSU and that is a fact. TSU’s homecoming only solidifies what we all know: TSU is the ‘bomb.’ We are all looking forward to next year’s homecoming being even bigger and better.