With the 2020 Homecoming festivities cancelled (technically), what better time to reflect on Central’s emergence in 2019 as a worthy contender in homecoming talks around the country. Yall know what conversation I’m talkin’ bout!
Homecoming as defined by Webster “is an instance of returning home ie. to a high school, college, or university game, or other event to which alumni are invited.” Webster oh how short you have fallen…
Homecoming is a cookout, a block party, a family reunion, a festival, a fashion show, a pop up shop, an intergenerational connecting point, a spiritual revival, an oasis of joy, a baptism in culture.
Bragging rights over the best homecoming is also an intricate part of the homecoming experience. While National News outlets, media, and bloggers rank the best college Homecoming experiences each year, somehow they continually seem to tune out our historically in tune institutions of higher learning. With that said, HBCUs have a homecoming hierarchy nonetheless. North Carolina A&T (GHOE), Howard, Florida A&M, Spelman & Morehouse (Spelhouse) are typically heavyweight contenders vying for the number spot… Best Homecoming experience. However, this post is not about bickering over who’s best. This here post is about welcoming, nay, chronicling the rise of a new contender.
[Cue entrance music] Hailing from the Bull City, the challenger, your EAGLES of North Carolina Central….University!
Sunday, November 3rd 8:45 Eastern Standard Time, Brint City, respected eagle alum, and consummate eagle ally, Colton Palmer, took to instagram to kick off Homecoming week. Little did they know, a simple social media exchange between Durmights would amalgamate Eagle alum and allys nationwide.
“See a shot, take a shot…pass it to a friend and keep it goin’.”
Days later, local media joined the fray, radio stations blasted support, rival universities showed love, and hundreds of eagle alums rose to the occasion, meeting the challenge to spread the order of the weekend throughout the United States. Even people who have no affiliation with the university or had any plans of attending the festivities in Durham that weekend, found themselves contributing.
It’s amazing what a catchy phrase, a splash of excitement, topped with a shot of Bedlam Vodka can do to consummate a Homecoming week.
Saturday November 9th
Saturday morning of Homecoming is like no other…a sensory buffet of sorts. Approaching campus, your nose gets filled with the aroma of fried fish and chicken as a rhythmic blend of Frankie Beverly and Maze, Da Baby, and Beyonce tickle your soul. Your eyes dance around the full spectrum of browns dawning the infamous maroon and grey, as people pass by flashing their pearly whites from ear to ear. Every step closer to the action, the energy and excitement grows until you’re inevitably cloaked in a feeling typically reserved for wedding receptions and reunions of loved ones.
In an effort to capture the essence of the Ultimate Homecoming Experience, BET’s new series “We Own Homecoming” documented the 2019 festivities in Durham. Through interviews, testimonials, historical insights from students, alumni, Durmights, Grammy Award winning producer and professor 9th Wonder, plus many more. BET encapsulated and presented to the rest of the world what we already knew about the Eagles and the Bull City…There’s something truly unique and special about this place and this experience.
“North Carolina is a major hub for black culture in general, and Central is a major part of that… The talent they attract, the caliber of people who are dedicated to making sure that this school thrives, and the city of Durham itself… It’s safe to say y’all killed the Ultimate homecoming Experience.”
–Jasmine Luv @Luv_jjp