“I don’t want my alma mater to give the appearance of supporting him.” -Shirley Ferrill, Talladega College class of 1974
On December 22nd, the Talladega Tornado Marching Band announced that they had been selected to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration parade on January 20. After a series of controversial performance requests and denials, Trump finally found a performer that stuck. The college announced the band’s performance over Facebook saying:
What was likely a sigh of relief for the Trump administration, has become quite controversial amongst students, alumni, faculty, and staff at Alabama’s oldest Historically Black College. It is painstakingly clear that our country’s next president ran a campaign that was extremely controversial toward the black community. Fittingly, people are confused and fired up about the college’s decision.
CBS News spoke to one Talladega alumni of the class of ’74, Shirley Ferrill. Ferrill expressed her discontent and disappointment with her alma mater’s questionable decision making, saying:
“I don’t want my alma mater to give the appearance of supporting him…Ignore, decline or whatever, but please don’t send our band out in our name to do that.”
The wake of negative energy surrounding the band’s decision to perform is continuing to ripple outwards over social media.
Talladega College affiliated Twitter users have been using the platform to express their views and call for answers. Check out some of these Tweets below!
No respect for a college seeking to play for a man that disrespected others 4 political gain. Shame on Talladega College. #talladegacollege
— W.Gabriel Selassie I (@drwgsi) January 2, 2017
Really, Talladega College? Not a good look at all. Shameful. https://t.co/SgcKqRnYEF
— Random Brown Girl (@moonr0cks) January 2, 2017
Perhaps a tweet storm from HBCU students and alumni will discourage #talladegacollege‘s marching band from supporting white supremacy
— Jennifer Williams (@drjendwilliams) January 4, 2017
What do you think these students should do? Should the band’s Inauguration performance be seen as an endorsement? Is it totally unfair to throw shade at these young performers solely because of Trump?
Let us know what you’re thinking about this controversial issue in the comments! Meanwhile, check out the Talladega band performing below!