One Yard

Black Excellence: There’s No Homecoming Like an HBCU Homecoming

It's the best time of the year: Homecoming season!

Every autumn, thousands of people convene at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation to show their school pride. Featuring a weeklong lineup of events, Homecoming is the crown jewel of the historically Black college and university experience.

If you've never been to HBCU, you may not understand what all the fuss is about, but don't get it twisted: An HBCU Homecoming is an experience like no other. From all over the country, faculty, undergrads, alumni, non-HBCU graduates, and even celebrities travel far and wide to partake in the festivities, celebrate the legacy of HBCUs, and advance education amongst African-Americans.

Homecoming is a pilgrimage, a rejuvenation for me, a much-needed re-baptism in the joys of Blackness. Love, camaraderie, brotherhood, family, and laughter are all the things that come with that pilgrimage.

There's something for everyone to enjoy at Homecoming. Throughout the fall, HBCUs put on a plethora of events that happen all over campus, from parties and football games to concerts on "The Yard," high-energy step shows, marching band performances, etc. Campuses are buzzing with vendors selling delicious food, good music, and Black folks dressed to the nines. A sense of pride fills the air as old classmates, undergrads, and HBCU enthusiasts gather to celebrate Black excellence and revel in Black joy.

"Homecoming is a pilgrimage, a rejuvenation for me, a much-needed re-baptism in the joys of Blackness. Love, camaraderie, brotherhood, family, and laughter are all the things that come with that pilgrimage. Homecoming serves as a time to regain the strength to continue despite what we go through," Howard alum, Alexander-Julian Gibbson, explains.

Homecoming is a time to reconnect with people you may not see all year — and it's the perfect opportunity to let loose and be unapologetically Black. Simply put, Homecoming is Black love personified. Everywhere you turn, you're met with people who've chosen to forget the world's worries, live in the moment and vibe.

Since the 1920s, when they first began, Homecoming has transformed into blockbuster events attended by thousands of folks worldwide every year. There have been so many unforgettable moments at different HBCU Homecomings. Take Howard alum Kianna Baptiste's most memorable Homecoming experience, for example: "For my first Homecoming as a freshman, Drake surprised Howard at Yardfest. The crowd went crazy! I remember my legs lifting off the floor and me moving forward because of the power of the push of the people behind me. He had on a Howard sweater too, so that was a statement in itself that gave us as students so much pride," she recalls.

HBCU Homecomings are a special Black college tradition and cannot be stopped even with the challenges we face this year. As Bowie State University alum, entrepreneur and friend of One Yard, Eunique Jones Gibson brilliantly puts it, going virtual "is the perfect opportunity to get a small slice of the HBCU experience we all love."

There's truly no place like an HBCU Homecoming.

Sign Up for Updates

Please enter your name.
Please provide a valid email address.