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  • Writer's pictureKaren Brittingham-Edmond

Benedict College Marching Tiger Band Showed Up & Showed Out At The 96th Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!

Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction from Columbia, South Carolina, came in the true spirit of marching band perfection. This year's presentation of the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade added a spark of magic by inviting historic Benedict College to join the promenade. Per a Benedict College Communication statement, "Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction spent the last 18 months planning for their parade appearance. Students and the local community held creative fundraising events for the trip to New York. To help kick-start the band's fundraising goal, Macy's made a $10,000 donation" to support their participation."

Families jumped to their screens to enjoy the camaraderie of spirit that only an HBCU (Historical Black College/University) such as Benedict College can bring! Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction engages with on-lookers with culturally relatable, high-energy showmanship by incorporating popular R&B and Hip-Hop hits into their intricate routines.

Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction was "selected from more than 100 applicants as one of nine selected bands to march in the 96th edition of the annual parade." Historical Black College/University band members introduced a style of movement with melody plus foot-stomping syncopation into military cadence-counting, reminiscent of a style once presented by the Harlem Hellfighter Marching Band of World War 1 (369th Regiment,) which permanently altered the standard European marching band methodology.

Pictured below is Lt. James Reese-Europe, left, with a few of his band members who arrive in New York with the 369th Infantry, commonly known as the “Harlem Hellfighters, ” following the conclusion of World War I. On that day in 1919, the infantry unit was treated to adoring cheers throughout the streets of Manhattan.

About Benedict College

"Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution with over 1,700 students enrolled in its 26 baccalaureate degree programs. Benedict College, originally Benedict Institute, was founded 152 years ago under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society."

"Bathsheba A Barber-Benedict 1809-1897 native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. According to local history, her husband, Mr. Stephen Benedict, was a mill owner, banker, deacon, and pioneer abolitionist. It was his intention to help educate the newly freed Negroes."

The site for the new school for the recently freed people of African descent operated from the enslaved Africans Columbia, SC, former enslaver's mansion, with the mission to educate recently released people "to prepare men and women to be a power for good in society."

About: "Call Me MISTER"

Pictured below, Mr. Cameron Brice is an educator-turned-administrator and alumnus of Call Me MISTER who has enjoyed 10 years working in South Carolina schools. Benedict College Call Me MISTER Application Link Below

Furthermore, Benedict College is known for the "Call Me MISTER" (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) teaching intervention on behalf of socio-economically disadvantaged children. In some areas in America, only 2% of teachers are Black males. The research on the limited number of Black male school teachers inspired Clemson University to come up with a solution.

The solution was launched when Clemson University, with three historically black colleges.

  • Benedict College,

  • Claflin University, and

  • Morris College

Created the Call Me Mister program to "recruit, train, certify and secure employment for African-American men as teachers in the state's public elementary schools." The intervention provided a career pathway where Black male students can make a difference, plus provided professional intervention into today's teacher shortage in America. Moreover, studies prove that Black male students benefit significantly from the guidance and mentorship of Black male teachers.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 2022 New York City

With that said, thank you, Macy's, for inviting the outstanding Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction from Columbia, South Carolina. We are assured that more viewers of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade look forward to seeing Benedict College and more Historical Black Colleges & Universities "show up and show out!" at future Macy's Thanksgiving Parades in New York. P.S. Congratulations to Benedict College Tiger Football Team for concluding their 2022 season with a perfect 10-0 record. Go Tigers!

Above Benedict College Tigers Football Team 2022


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