Magnolia trees and dogwood blossoms paint a grand southern picture, but sprinkle in some Spanish moss and that picture becomes a masterful portrait. In the heart of one such portrait sits Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, or FAMU.
FAMU is one of only a handful of historically black colleges or universities that are public institutions. This means they receive tax payer’s money. Recently they have also received a lot of publicity over a little hazing incident. The hazing was carried out not by the football team or even a fraternity… it was the band.
Now to be fair this isn’t just any band, it is arguably THE band when it comes to college marching bands. They aren’t limited to football games and local parades, they are more along the lines of presidential inaugurations and Superbowl half times. Some members of said band were dangerously foolish, but it would be foolish to forget how good these guys are.
Foolish to haze, foolish to forget, and it would also be foolish to assume that while history has proven that separate is inherently unequal, this does not mean that all black institutions hailing from the days of segregation were poor quality. The may have indeed been, and are, poor in funding, but not in product.
Headlines cry out about the education and performance gap between black and white, inspiring armies of experts to investigate why black folks lag. If these experts would rather look the other way, and find out why the black folks who succeed do so when so many others don’t, they would do well to look at FAMU.