"I think a light definitely needs to be shined on all HBCUs,” said the film's star Letoya Luckett. “I hope people can experience and get a taste of it through watching the movie.”
While audiences wait to see how the new VH1 movie Drumline: A New Beat—a remake of the 2002 hit movie Drumline starring Nick Cannon—will fair next to the original, the cast of the film is anticipating how the movie may change how the world thinks about historically Black colleges and universities.
"I think a light definitely needs to be shined on all HBCUs,” said Letoya Luckett at a press screening of the film. “I hope people can experience and get a taste of it through watching the movie.”
Her co-stars agree. Jordan Calloway, who plays heartthrob Jayven Lapierre in the film, believes colleges help solidify the identity of Black students.
"College forces you not only to have knowledge of new things but it also pushes you to see your limits, to also push beyond that you thought your limit was. And just seeing that for the Black community, it makes you proud" Calloway said.
"HBCUs need more funding," Luckett added, "People can't ignore. We have to have higher education. It's a movement. It's a lifestyle."
The stars worked with actual band students to make the film and gained a new appreciation for the power of music as part of the education process. Alexandra Shipp, who plays the lead role of Dani in the film, knows that music is an essential part of helping Black students achieve and maintain a legacy.
"That's what marching bands do. They not only teach us how to read music, they teach us to be a family. They teach us how to do math, they teach us social studies. It's all across the map! As long as we shine a light on something as beautiful as music, then our stories won't be lost" Shipp said.
Drumline: A New Beat premiers on VH1 Monday Oct. 27 at 9pm EST.