Trump Inauguration, HBCU Participation and ‘Strange Fruit’
Controversy follows Donald Trump every step of the way. So, it’s no surprise that the upcoming presidential inauguration is raising a lot of eyebrows, to say the least.
Of the recent dramatics surrounding the traditional passing of power event, an HBCU college, Talladega College’s Marching Tornadoes is gaining criticism as it has been reported that they will perform on Jan. 20 during the parade that follows the ceremony.
However, college representatives have yet to confirm if they will be attending let alone if they were even invited to participate in the historical event, according to the Grio.
Speculation also swarms about a possible appearance by the University of Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Band as they have performed in the parade every since since Lyndon B. Johnson with the exception of 2013.
Nevertheless, the question posed is simple: Should an HBCU participate in Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration?
Should this be interpreted as showing honor to the incoming president or simply following a tradition formed in years past?
While the Presidential Inaugural Committee is still working out details as to who will be in attendance during one of the most fascinating presidential transitions, the unrest still abounds. Allegedly Trumps camp reached out to British artist, Rebecca Ferguson with an invitation to sing at the inauguration.
Unlike many US artists who have already vowed not to take the stage during the ceremony, Ferguson noted that she would “graciously accept.” But, only under one condition: She’d be able to perform Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.”
The song, which documented and painted visual lyrics of the lynchings that were taking place in the South was declared too controversial and eventually blacklisted in the United States.
Ferguson shared her response via Twitter.
“I’ve been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing “strange fruit” a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington. Best Rebecca X”
It has not yet been confirmed if Trump’s team accepted Ferguson’s condition.
What a time to be alive. Grant it, people will probably be tuned-in to see who actually shows up to witness and take part in the 2017 transition of power.