This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade was filled with HBCU pride!
Morgan State’s marching band, the Magnificent Marching Machine, became the first HBCU band from Maryland to perform in the annual spectacle. According to CBS, the band not only brought rhythm to the national tradition, they led the way along the two and a half mile parade route as the first band that viewers will see and hear as they gather around their screens.
Qualifying for the rare honor requires an extreme amount of practice but the students pride themselves on their discipline and commitment.
“All pride no jive, just do it,” First Base Drummer Jasymn Toon told CBS. Reportedly, preparation for the show required spilling “blood, sweat, and tears,” according to baritone player Micah Duckett.
“People say it all the time, but that is not even close to being a joke,” said Duckett. “We’re here to put on a really amazing show.”
HBCU marching bands hold a sacred place in Black culture. They bring out crazed fans and alumni to cheer them on every homecoming season, and even inspired Beyoncé to honor their legacy during her iconic Beychella performance.
“It carries the spirit and it carries all the energy of the University,” said Magnificent Marching Machine Band Director Melvin Miles. “We have a sound that’s our own, moves of our own and we bring a certain kind of individualism to it that’s different from any other band you’re going to see,” he added.
The prestigious performance slot brings honor and distinction not only to Morgan State University but to all HCBUs, which are often left out of the national conversation on collegiate culture. They are often not accurately, nor positively reflected in mainstream media.
“I think it gives us a chance to step out in the world but for the rest of the HBCU culture,” said Toon.
Congratulations to the Magnificent Marching Machine!