Ah yes, fall is officially here, a time for shorter days, cool nights, and pumpkin spice lattes (if you like that sort of thing). Fall also brings the return of college football, and if you went to an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) you already know what that means: HOMECOMING.
Homecoming is a pretty big deal across the collegiate spectrum but there’s no question about it, an HBCU homecoming is like no other experience. Where else can you find the harmonious mix of football, food, fellowship and fashion all in one place? Homecoming weekend is an important part of the black college experience and has become legendary even outside of the college sphere. Howard University boasts one of the most notable homecoming weekends with big-name stars like Drake, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar having graced the stage at the annual Yardfest. My alma mater North Carolina A&T boasts the “Greatest Homecoming On Earth” (GHOE, if you ain’t know) and shuts down the entire city of Greensboro for the weekend. While the football game on Saturday is the main gathering point for students and alumni, there’s so much more to see and do including day parties, concerts, step shows and tailgates.
You never know who might pop up on campus or in the city, so you want to be ready. Not sure what to wear? Here’s the rundown on the campus “hot spots” and what you can expect:
What: Where the game, halftime, and tailgate happen.
Who: Students, alumni, families, and locals
Activities: Cheer on the football team, grab a pineapple drink, watch the bands battle
What To Wear: Distressed denim, school shirt/top in school colors, bomber/moto jacket, boots or classic sneakers
(Pineapples with the girls, GHOE 2016)
The Yard (a.k.a The Quad)
What: The central meeting place for post-game activities, sometimes located near the Greek plots.
Who: Recent grads, current students with a few old heads mixed in (they usually have the drinks on hand)
Activities: Pregame before the night activities. Get you a fishplate, make plans for later, scope out bae for the night
What To Wear Ladies: dress and chucks, boyfriend jeans, crop top, statement shades
What To Wear Fellas: denim jacket, baseball cap, pants in hunter green/khaki/rust, sweatshirt/sweater, statement shades
(Drake at Howard Yardfest, Terrance J at NC A&T, scenes from homecoming)
What: Fraternity & sorority gathering spot but usually open to all during homecoming
Who: Greeks, non-Greeks
Activities: EAT…A LOT, catch an impromptu step show, mix and mingle
What To Wear: Same as The Yard/paraphernalia for Greeks
Click Here to find a comprehensive list of the all HBCU homecoming dates for 2017 with Alabama A&M kicking off this weekend against Pine Bluff. GHOE at North Carolina A&T is 10/7 so stay tuned for a complete update in the coming weeks.
“H…OMEC…O…MING, IT’S HOMECOMING YA’LL!”