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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Five Additional 2021 YouTube Videos Showing Whether & How HBCU Marching Bands & Their Dance Line Auxiliaries Wear Face Masks During Covid-19



Smash Time Productions, September 5, 2021

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Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases five videos of Historically Black Colleges & Universities marching bands, their dance line auxiliaries, and their other auxiliaries performing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This post documents whether and how these sample HBCU marching bands and auxiliaries wear face masks as protection against Covid-19 in 2021 (as shown in those particular videos).

In addition, these videos also document whether and how spectators and other people shown in these videos wear face masks as protection against Covid-19 in 2021.

Given in the order of these embedded videos, the HBCU marching bands that are featured in this pancocojams post are Praire View A &M University, Winston Salem State University, Grambling State University, Kentucky State University, and Texas Southern University. 

Click 
https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/09/five-2021youtube-videos-showing-whether.html for the closely related pancocojams post entited "Five 2021YouTube Videos Showing Whether & How HBCU Marching Bands & Their Dance Line Auxiliaries Wear Face Masks During Covid-19".

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those HBCU marching bands and their auxiliaries who are showcased in these showcased videos. Thanks also to the videographers and publishers of these videos on YouTube .
-snip-
DISCLAIMER:
These HBCUs and these videos were rather randomly selected by searching YouTube.

This pancocojam post is not meant to be a comprehensive overview of whether and how all HBCU marching bands, their dance lines, and their other auxiliaries or those particular showcased HBCU marching bands, dance lines, and their other auxiliaries or HBCU marching bands wear face masks as protection against Covid-19 in 2021. 

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/09/five-2021youtube-videos-showing-whether.html for the closely related pancocojams post entitled "
Five 2021YouTube Videos Showing Whether & How HBCU Marching Bands & Their Dance Line Auxiliaries Wear Face Masks During Covid-19."

Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2020/10/youtube-video-of-comments-about-jackson.html for the closely related 2020 pancocojams post entitled "YouTube Video Of & Comments About Jackson State University Band & J-Settes Wearing Face Masks While Marching During The Covid-19 Pandemic".

Unlike this September 2021 pancocojams post, that October 2020 post includes comments about wearing face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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ADDITIONAL SHOWCASED VIDEOS

Video #2: 
WSSU starts halftime and concludes with the Wake Forest Marching Band


Creative Community Solutions, LLC, Sept. 3, 2021

WSSU enters the field and closes with a joint performance of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

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Video #3: 2021 Grambling State World Famed Tigers Marching in To U of Houston



Grambling State World Famed Tiger Marching Band, Sept. 18, 2021

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Video #4: Kentucky State | Marching In| vs Tennessee State 2021

Smash Time Productions, September 19, 2021

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Video #5: 
Texas Southern Ocean of Soul | Marching In | Labor Day Classic 2021


Smash Time Productions, Sept. 5, 2021

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Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Five 2021YouTube Videos Showing Whether & How HBCU Marching Bands & Their Dance Line Auxiliaries Wear Face Masks During Covid-19



Human Jukebox Media, Sept. 5, 2021

****
Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases five videos of Historically Black Colleges & Universities marching bands, their dance line auxiliaries, and their other auxiliaries performing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This post documents whether and how these sample HBCU marching bands and auxiliaries wear face masks as protection against Covid-19 in 2021 (as shown in those particular videos).

In addition, these videos also document whether and how spectators and other people shown in these videos wear face masks as protection against Covid-19 in 2021.

Given in the order of these embedded videos, the HBCU marching bands that are featured in this pancocojams post are Southern University, Tennessee State University, Jackson State University, Florida A&M University, and Alabama State University.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/09/five-additional-2021-youtube-videos.html for the closely related pancocojams post entitled "Five Additional 2021 YouTube Videos Showing Whether & How HBCU Marching Bands & Their Dance Line Auxiliaries Wear Face Masks During Covid-19."

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those HBCU marching bands and their auxiliaries who are showcased in these showcased videos. Thanks also to the videographers and publishers of these videos on YouTube .
-snip-
DISCLAIMER:
These HBCUs and these videos were rather randomly selected by searching YouTube.

This pancocojam post is not meant to be a comprehensive overview of whether and how all HBCU marching bands, their dance lines, and their other auxiliaries or those particular showcased HBCU marching bands, dance lines, and their other auxiliaries or HBCU marching bands wear face masks as protection against Covid-19 in 2021. 

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2020/10/youtube-video-of-comments-about-jackson.html for the closely related 2020 pancocojams post entitled "YouTube Video Of & Comments About Jackson State University Band & J-Settes Wearing Face Masks While Marching During The Covid-19 Pandemic".

Unlike this September 2021 pancocojams post, that October 2020 post includes comments about wearing face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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ADDITIONAL SHOWCASED VIDEOS

Video #2: 
Tennessee State University Marching In @ the 2021 HBCU Hall of Fame Classic


Killa Kev Productions, Sep 5, 2021

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Video #3: Jackson State University - Marching In @ the 2021 Southern Heritage Classic


Killa Kev Productions, Sep 12, 2021

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Video #4: Famu Marching 100 | "Snake Walk/ Pre-Game Entrance" (2021)


Marching 100 Paparazzi, Sept. 12, 2021

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Video #5: ASU Marching In - Stingettes and Alabama State Marching Band vs Auburn



Showtime Web, Sept. 10, 2021

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Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

2019 Journal Excerpt: Robert H. Clark (author) - A Narrative History of African American Marching Band

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides a lengthy excerpt from a journal article about the history of Historically Black Colleges And Universities' (HBCU) marching bands.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those unknown and known Black musicians who contributed to the development of the HBCU marching band styles.Thanks to Robert H. Clark, the author of this journal article. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-origins-of-historically-black.html for the closely related 2016 pancocojams post entitled "The Origins Of High Step Style Marching (Historically Black Colleges & Universities Marching Bands)."

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ARTICLE EXCERPT: A NARRATIVE HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MARCHING BANDS
From https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1536600619847933
Robert H. Clark, First Published May 6, 2019 Research Article

https://doi.org/10.1177/1536600619847933

[...]

"Introduction

It is a reality that various styles of marching bands exist. Those who work in the marching band milieu are familiar with style designations such as “traditional,” “corps,” “military,” “Big Ten,” “scramble,” “precision,” and more. Descriptive analyses have been undertaken to define some of these specific styles.1 Marching band styles are often differentiated by repertoire, qualities of sound, and visual appearance. Furthermore, marching band styles seem to exist as artifacts related to two specific factors: relation to a geographical region2 and the racial population of the band program and school. The first factor may be linked to the styles of marching band practiced at the colleges that the majority of band directors in a region attend; the second is, in America, a result of a history of racially segregated schools and colleges.

Of all the styles of American marching bands, two are prominently found in schools that are either predominantly white or historically black.3 In predominantly white communities, marching bands tend to be “corps”-style ensembles.4 These ensembles tend to march with a “roll step,” use “slide” techniques to keep instruments toward the sidelines, program a repertoire of original, concert, or orchestral works, and perform “competition shows” with a primary focus on improving weekly and a goal of giving the best performances at festivals or contests. Various appellations have been assigned to the styles found in predominantly black schools: for instance, “traditional,” “precision,” and “show bands.”5 By contrast, these bands often utilize “high step” (or “chair step”), perform flanks and facings that aim their instruments in various directions on the field, program a repertoire of both classic band music and popular works, incorporate dance routines into drill formations, and perform halftime shows with the primary goal of entertainment (though a competitive spirit is associated with this tradition as well). A spectator at a football game, upon seeing one of each style of marching band may wonder: “Why are the bands different?”

While the marching band’s history transcends a single culture, the development of the style of marching bands commonly observed in historically black schools is an American phenomenon occurring within the last 200 years as a result of historical events and cultural ingenuity. The contributions of African American performers and pedagogues to American music education are quite significant, yet research and written histories—especially in the area of marching bands—remains underrepresented.6 D. Antoinette Handy’s Black Conductors7 is a scholarly work that features profiles of nearly one hundred African American conductors and music educators, and a number of extant journal articles, books, and dissertations address the histories of the band programs of specific historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the band directors who established traditions of excellence in those programs.8 A small number of studies have examined high school band programs in the era of racial segregation.9 All of these publications provide varying degrees of background on the development of African American music education, band programs, teachers, performers, and marching bands, yet none provide a concise historical narrative. Historical research regarding white band directors and primarily white band programs has been conducted with high frequency.10 By comparison, there seems to be a literature gap in historical narrative related to the development of African American marching band programs.11 An unpublished thesis by William Dukes Lewis12 seems to be the closest document that develops a narrative history of African American marching bands, yet there seems to be little or no critical examination of the characteristics of the style. Because much previous scholarly work has documented the historical development of band as a product of predominantly white institutions, this article will not revisit previously published work. Instead, it will attempt to elucidate the story of band as an African American phenomenon, developing concurrently with, often separately from, and sometimes intersecting with white culture.

[…]

It is especially a goal of this study to encourage the “reconstruction” of value systems by examining the style of marching bands found in historically black schools historiculturally—as a product of both the consequences of history and the creative impulse of culture.

[…]

Historical Narrative

Beginnings: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

There are few records of bands in America prior to the American Revolution.16 Further, there is little information concerning how the earliest enslaved Africans in America began to learn to play the European instruments of the white settlers.17 Interestingly, some of the earliest reports of enslaved black persons who were musicians come from records of warrants for escaped persons.18 A 1757 report from the State of Virginia describes a man named Charles Love as a “singer, violinist, and hautboisist” who was being pursued “for running away from Phillip Ludwell Lee with . . . a very good bassoon.”19 Of interest to the topic at hand, it is worth noting that there is a history in British military bands, pre-dating the American colonies, of “Janizary bands” that were composed of black musicians.20

Eileen Southern suggests a system of “secondhand learning” whereby enslaved people had access to instruments and music instruction because of their relationship with their master.21 Southern proposed another facet of “secondhand learning” in which the “benevolent” or “humane master” might allow some of his enslaved persons to be formally trained in music.22 Finally, Southern suggests that some truly, naturally gifted African American musicians were autodidacts—that is, they were self-taught.23 The possibility is strong that many black musicians of early America were self-taught; how they acquired instruments to play—whether through the “goodwill of their master” or by other means—remains unclear. Eventually the military, and later public schools, would provide a system of formalized music education for all students, but in early America the prospects for music training were limited to white persons of sufficient privilege and enslaved persons who were either allowed by their masters to study or who had the ability to teach themselves.

Black men were participating in military marching bands well before the American Revolution24 and although military records did not typically include the races of servicemen,25 individual black musicians have been identified in American military bands as early as 1723.26

In 1738 the Virginia Legislature required freed mulattos, blacks, and Native Americans to avail themselves to militias, though they were not allowed to train with or carry weapons because of fears of uprisings against local whites.27 This left only a few options for service, which included pioneering, or “grunt work” such as digging ditches and moving equipment, administrative work (which excluded many minorities because it often required the ability to read), or serving as a musician.28 In place of serving in combat, many black, mulatto, and Native American men were permitted to serve as drummers and fifers.29 Participation in military bands may have served as a “first wave” of music education for African American men.

Beginning in the early nineteenth century, brass bands began to spring up across the country,30 with New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans especially serving as early centers of activity.31 Professional and amateur brass bands composed of African American musicians became common, many of which were staffed by former members of US military bands. Eileen Southern has asserted that the emergence of all-black brass bands was at least partially due to the musical training African Americans received in military bands during the War of 1812.32 One of the prestigious African American brass band leaders during this period was Francis (“Frank”) Johnson, who led one of the most popular all-black brass bands in the country. Johnson led both professional and military brass bands that toured and performed at events ranging from parades to ballroom dances. Johnson’s professional bands were designed to be flexible ensembles with the ability to adapt to indoor and outdoor performances, demanding professional musicians who were able to perform multiple times per day, switching from brass or percussion to string instruments.33 Johnson’s bands regularly faced racial discrimination. He reported multiple occurrences of all-white bands refusing to march in the same parades as his bands.34 Other all-black brass bands that existed during this time were Matt Black’s “All-Negro Marching Band” of Philadelphia, founded in 1818, and Dixon’s Brass Band of Newburgh, New York, founded in 1827.35

In 1838, the New Orleans Picayune reported “a real mania in this city for horn and trumpet playing” and that one could not turn a corner without running into a “horn blower.”36 Important to note about New Orleans brass bands is that one of their most common functions was marching, and that rather than serving the purposes of a military, the marching bands of New Orleans provided entertainment.37 It was a New Orleans tradition that benevolent societies and fraternal orders sponsored marching bands. Often, these sponsorships were undertaken in order to increase awareness of and to raise funds for philanthropic causes or simply to provide entertainment for social events.38 Many of the benevolent societies in post–Civil War New Orleans were founded in order to provide assistance in the form of medical care, education, housing, and funeral arrangements for newly freed, former slaves.39 The benevolent society bands were tasked with providing music for funerals, a ritual that evolved into the jazz funeral.40

A division of all-black and all-white bands emerged by the late nineteenth century, not only as a result of the missions of the benevolent societies, but as a result of the deeply segregated culture of New Orleans.41 It is the specific circumstances germane to late nineteenth-century New Orleans—the popularity of brass bands, demand for parades and outdoor performances, the arrival of ex-military bandsmen and affordable instruments, the sponsorship of benevolent societies and fraternal orders, and racial segregation—that resulted in an established tradition of all-black marching bands associated with the city. New Orleans had (and still has)42 robust participation of African American musicians in brass bands, and the city’s cultural construction has historically allowed for numerous performances in the form of parades, outdoor concerts, and festivals.43

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the black people of New Orleans were divided into two classes: the “Uptown” people of mixed race and the “Downtown” people of African heritage.44 Besides differences in skin color (the “Uptown” people were light-skinned because of their mixed ethnicity while the “Downtown” people had dark skin because of their African ethnicity), these divisions of black people were caste-like and segregated. Many “Uptown” musicians received European music training while the “Downtown” musicians exhibited a tradition of either “secondhand” or autodidactic music training. As a result, bands from the segregated neighborhoods had different musical styles, sounds, and influences. However, in the era of Reconstruction that followed the Civil War, new racial norms in New Orleans would class all African Americans the same. “Uptown” Creoles lost many of their former social rights, resulting in greater interaction with “Downtown” people. Jacqui Malone45 and Leroi Jones46 credit this commingling for creating a new brass band sound that combined the refinement of European training with the tone quality and styles of the self-taught musician. Jones posited that the convergence of musical cultures had extended influence into the twentieth century: “This merger of stylisms brought about a gradual change in the black brass band sound; an admixture of the African and the European, which remains today, with the sounds of the Black college, university and community bands.”47 At the close of the Civil War, ex-military musicians48 settled across the country and played a role in establishing what has been called a “Golden Age” for American bands.49 African American military men were certainly among this number.50 Along with the band’s “Golden Age” came greater exposure for African American musicians, both amateur51 and professional.52 Continuing a trend from the earlier half of the nineteenth century, African American bands especially flourished in New Orleans.53 Benevolent societies continued to sponsor bands, especially amateur bands that included members of boys’ homes, orphanages, or fraternal orders. Through their participation in parades, many of these bands managed to raise money for their sponsoring society.54 Some of New Orleans’s great jazz musicians got their early musical training in the amateur bands….

[…]

Minstrel Shows and Parades

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, African American musicians began performing widely in minstrel shows. For most of the nineteenth century, traveling minstrel shows were one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the United States. Initially these shows, which included instrumental music, singing, dancing, comedy, acting, and other forms of entertaining such as juggling or acrobatic feats, were performed strictly by white performers. To impersonate black persons, the white performers donned what is known as “black face”—that is, black makeup on most of the face except for the areas around the eyes and mouth. So deep was the association of blackface performance with minstrel shows that it was expected by the paying audience members, who usually happened to be white.60

Around 1840, a small number of black-owned minstrel troupes with all-black performers began to appear. Employment in these traveling shows provided a good income for professional black musicians, some of whom, such as “The Father of the Blues” W.C. Handy, had come from professional military bands.62 Handy writes in his 1947 autobiography Father of the Blues that he joined Mahara’s Minstrels in 1896 and eventually was promoted to bandleader of the forty-two musicians in the company.63 Other celebrated African American entertainers who emerged from the minstrel shows include Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith.64

The minstrel shows performed at night, and during the day a parade served as the major advertisement for the show,65 proceeding through town and led by its premiere showman, the drum major. The drum major would be doing anything to attract attention, including spinning a baton and dancing, and often the drum major was dressed in an altered version of a military band uniform that might include an extra tall plume on the hat or tails on the jacket.66 The band would move through town and stop at a point such as the town square where the largest crowd could be gathered. Once there, the band would perform standard military marches, popular works of composers such as Sousa, and the popular dance songs of the day.67 The band, clad in uniforms and accompanied by the ostentatious drum major, would offer another concert of similar music outside of the performance venue before the show began. For the show, many of the musicians would put away “marching horns” to play violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, and piano in the “pit orchestra” of the show.68 Thus, the musical requirements were quite demanding for the performers, and it can be surmised that the best professionals were highly skilled.

The Twentieth Century: College and Professional Bands

W. C. Handy became the band director at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1900.70 His appointment as band director at Alabama A&M was significant in that it marked the entry of musicians trained in military and minstrel bands into the faculty of segregated black institutions. Mahara’s Minstrels cornetist James Wilson followed Handy as band director at Alabama A&M (1903–1951). Major Nathaniel Clark Smith was appointed music director at the Tuskegee Institute (1907–1917) and was followed at Tuskegee by Captain Frank Drye (1918–1931).71 Handy believed that part of his mission at Alabama A&M was “fighting for American music” and noted “an unwritten law against American music” in colleges.72 Though Handy may not have been the first to do so, his efforts in support of “American music” (or what David Blanke has called “vernacular arrangements”) represented the introduction of popular styles, specifically the music of African Americans, into the repertory of college bands.

[…]

Two events of the early twentieth century effected the proliferation and prominence of African American musicians in American band culture. The first was a wave of African American migration northward in search of better employment and an escape from the oppression of the Jim Crow South. Musicians were part of this migration, and many of them gained employment in the north’s best-known performance venues.76 This migration provided further opportunity to bring African American music and musicians to a wider audience. The second event was American participation in World War I, an impetus for the multiplication of military band units. Consequently, the formal training provided by the US military music schools would elevate the musicianship of its band members.77

Some of the bandleaders who moved north, leaving the minstrel shows and brass bands for the clubs and ballrooms of New York, were selected to lead professional military bands.78 One example is that of James Reese Europe.79 In 1916 Colonel William Hayward organized the 15th Infantry Regiment of the National Guard, a “Colored” unit that specifically targeted young black men from New York’s Harlem district. Seeking to recruit members and to raise money for his unit, Colonel Hayward recruited James Reese Europe to train and lead a band for the regiment. At the time, Europe was the leader of the jazz orchestra at New York’s Tempo Club. Europe recruited members from the black musical community of New York, and the band—part of the 369th Infantry “Hellfighters”—became famous in Paris, where they were stationed.80 The “Hellfighters” combined the styles of European brass band and early American jazz, garnering attention for playing standard Western repertoire with syncopated patterns and jazz tonalities (reminiscent of Jelly Roll Morton’s earlier band arrangements of marches that included syncopation, improvisation, and nontraditional harmonies).

Even the characteristic rhythmic and harmonic variations found in African American music seem to have had an impact on the marching and drilling of soldiers. Around the time of World War I, syncopation and melodic “blue notes” were observed in the military cadence-calling of African American drill sergeants, a practice that continues to this day.81

[…]

After World War I, many of the military bandsmen who filled the teaching positions in newly forming school bands were those who received training in the military music schools.87 Bands had reached national prominence that was unprecedented as school boards provided funding, teachers were trained by either the U.S. military or college music education programs, and schools were scheduling band classes as part of the regularly scheduled day, for credit.88

A handful of colleges that admitted African American students existed before the First and Second Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. Such institutions included Cheyney and Wilberforce Universities and Oberlin College. Colleges for black students were established at a greater frequency after the passage of the Second Morrill Act, which provided more funds for colleges while effectively mandating a “separate but equal” construction of segregated colleges and universities.89 Many of the new land grant universities established bands,90 and college marching bands began to develop during the early twentieth century concurrent with the rise of football and the growth of historically black colleges and universities. Tuskegee Institute is believed to have the oldest continually active band at an HBCU, established in 1895. Florida A&M University’s band was begun in 1892, and the band of Alabama A&M—which had W. C. Handy as its first director—was started in 1890. Many of the African American college bands were led either by students or members of the community and often associated with their school’s military training unit.91 Demand for military band musicians was high in both World War I and II, and at the conclusions of those wars many military musicians returned to school to perform in the band.92 Especially after World War II, many of the returning military band members were recruited to join the faculties of the HBCUs.93

One representative exemplary HBCU marching band is the “Marching 100” of Florida A&M University. Started as a marching unit in 1910 with sixteen members group, the band grew to much larger numbers and wide acclaim. FAMU’s revered band director William P. Foster is credited as a pioneer in the HBCU marching band movement for incorporating popular music and dance movements with traditional military precision-style drill. In his autobiography, Foster lists more than thirty innovations to marching band techniques (which he called “pageantry”) that occurred at FAMU, such as double-quick marching and high-stepping.94 Probably the most prominent feature for which the Marching 100 is known is dancing.95 By the late twentieth century, the marching bands of HBCUs and predominantly black public schools had developed a distinctive performance tradition of style, different from that of the predominantly white universities and public schools.96 Extending into current marching band culture, the marching bands of HBCUs are differentiated by characteristics unique to the style including specific ensemble tone qualities, body movement and dance, drill, and repertoire.

[…]

Commingling of military and modern styles in drill and music repertoire

Freamon McNair has detailed the form of a typical HBCU-style halftime show.105 According to this model, a show inherently includes structural movements composed of both traditional band and popular “Top 40” musical repertoire, as well as both military and corps styles of marching and drill. African American marching bands still typically include military precision drill as part of each show. Because many of the early directors of African American bands came from the military (and because of marching band’s military roots in general), it would seem that military-style drilling, also known as “precision marching,” can be traced to the earliest roots of African American school marching bands. Military precision drill includes block formations and direction changes such as flanks and “about” facings. In the modern “corps style” marching band, these “precision” types of maneuvers are almost extinct, with “slides” favored for directional movement (this keeps the instrument pointing to the front sideline throughout the drill).106 Marching band drill for an HBCU band might involve symmetrical shapes, high-stepping, flanks, and facings that cause the performer’s instrument to face only the direction in which he or she is marching, and abrupt direction changes that involve the reorientation of the entire body with a spin or “about-face.” The same performance might also include “corps style” marching consisting of asymmetrical shapes, “roll” stepping in which the performers move by rolling from the heel to the toe rather than picking up the foot, and slide moves that keep the horns facing the front sideline. In addition, this same performance might include dance moves.

The repertoire of HBCU bands often includes a wide range of styles. Marches of composers such as John Philip Sousa, Karl King, and Henry Fillmore pay homage to the repertoire of the military bands that were popular when college marching bands were beginning to form—in the “Golden Age of Bands,” approximately 1880–1920.107 The practice of performing popular music, usually from the “Top 40,” is a staple of HBCU bands both on the field and in the stands. Additionally, musical selections for halftime shows often span across styles and eras within American popular music, extending into masterworks from the Western canon.108 The combination of elements both old and new are one of the stylistic traits that afford HBCU bands a special appeal.109 ….

Distinctive marching fundamentals

“Marching fundamentals” refers to a taxonomy of style that defines body movement in marching band. One consideration of marching fundamentals is style of step, which in “corps style” bands is primarily the “glide” or “roll” step.111 Many modern college marching bands use a combination of roll or glide step and high step. The step style of HBCUs tends to be almost completely high step.112 Further, unique horn carriages (the way in which one holds an instrument while marching) and arm movements are added, colloquially described as adding “points” or “angles” to the marching style.113 The marching fundamentals of the FAMU Marching 100, for example, include extremely fast “high-knee” marching, a step style that is described as “point and drive” (in which the knee is picked up with the same energy with which it is put down), a 180-degree instrument swing to accompany each knee-lift, an “instrument upper-body flash” initiated by fast shifting of the torso when executing horn flashes, horn “swinging” that moves between “points,” and “stopping points” within all moves—points of no movement in every fundamental to give the appearance of “dramatic haltings.”114

[…]

Finally, the “pointed” marching fundamentals of HBCU marching bands may reflect descriptions of the African “aesthetic of Angularity” described by Zora Neale Hurston.117 It seems possible, then, to make a case for pluralistic influences that shaped the unique style of marching fundamentals in African American marching bands, with cultural aesthetics, minstrel shows, and military training among them.

Dancing

One of the most celebrated aspects of African American marching bands is dancing. Jacqui Malone studied the dancing of the “Marching 100” of Florida A&M University and detailed an exhaustive list of dances.118  Malone identified Hurston’s “aesthetic of Angularity” as influential upon the band’s dancing: “the hallmarks of the band’s dance routines are angularity, off-centeredness and asymmetry.”119 It is possible that the influence of a cultural aesthetic played only a small role in the emergence of dance in the halftime shows of African American marching bands. As described by W. C. Handy, the minstrel band parades were certainly highly entertaining performances that included dancing. The brass bands participating in “cutting sessions” and marching parades with the purpose of garnering fame and pride for their organizations or communities likely incorporated body movement. The military bands of James Reese Europe and the African American drill sergeants of World War I infused body movements into their performances.120 There are numerous possible influences for this characteristic, but it may be that the creativity of individual band directors or band members had the greatest effect. William P. Foster could not recollect when dancing was first established in his band, but noted that it could be that adding dancing to the show was just a singular idea that came about one afternoon in a planning session.121

“Informal” competitive spirit

Competition, or “cutting,” was described as the practice of brass bands “facing off” in competition in nineteenth-century New Orleans. “Winning” was a subjective notion of audience and performer assessment based on a combination of showmanship, volume produced by the ensemble, varied repertoire, and endurance of the musicians. This practice is somewhat evident today in the “fifth quarter” performances seen at some football games in which bands will take turns playing and dancing to entertaining music of varied repertoire, with emphasis on playing louder and longer than the opposing band. Often, the bands are surrounded by their supporters. This modern-day event is very much reminiscent of the “cutting sessions” described by Rublowsky.122 Competitiveness is not exclusive to African American marching bands: both “show” and “corps” style bands attend national, state, and local assessments, festivals, and competitions.123 However, “fifth-quarter” performances and nineteenth century “cutting matches” represent a specific spirit of competitiveness in African American bands that might be called “informal” competition. A spirit of “informal” differs from that of “formal” competitiveness in that the “prize” is esteem and respect for one’s school or community, much more so than the commendations—such as trophies or medals—that accompany victory in a formal competition.124

African aesthetics of “Angularity” and “Asymmetry”

Zora Neale Hurston asserts the existence of pervasive African aesthetics of Angularity and Asymmetry, which stand in opposition to a Western aesthetic based on symmetry and smoothness.125 For Hurston, both concepts may be interpreted literally, as she has observed in interior dΓ©cor of African American homes, in the actual lack of symmetry in African art, or angular body movements in African dance,126 but also as deliberate techniques to develop juxtaposition of African American art with white, European-centric, American art.127 African American artists, actors, writers, and musicians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were forced to creatively respond to the expectations of audiences that had been established via the popularity of the minstrel shows and portrayals of African Americans in literature, on stage, and in films.128 For Hurston, Angularity and Asymmetry were techniques for such a creative response.

…. Following the second Morrill Act and the introduction of marching bands to college campuses, bands at the “A&M schools” would over many years begin to assert techniques—both literal and esoteric—of Angularity and Asymmetry through unique interpretation of precision military drill, dancing, repertoire that reflected historical military band roots alongside popular music of the time period, and a competitive spirit punctuated with showmanship.

Seen through Hurston’s perspective, characteristics borne out of aesthetics of Angularity and Asymmetry may serve as a differentiating characteristic in styles of jazz, gospel, and blues when compared to European styles of music. Further, these characteristics could be surmised as a cause of the perceivable differences between the styles of predominantly white marching bands and African American marching bands. Implications for the existence of historical, aesthetic values might better inform perceptions of African American bands inside the field of music education.

Conclusions

Returning to the question that might be asked by a spectator at a football game: “Why are the bands different?” It is possible that the differences are merely cultural—that there is an inherent aesthetic embedded within each. This seems to be an easy answer to a difficult question, and when such an answer is espoused may border on the superfluous at best, and stereotypical at worst. A dehistoricized, cultural explanation (possibly prompting statements such as “They just always swing their music” or “That band plays with soul”) does not do justice to the artistic and musical creativity required in response to the historical reality of segregation. It is the goal of this study to consider both cultural and historical influences on the art form that is African American marching band styles. What can acceptance of a historicultural131 explanation accomplish? It is hopeful that this type of understanding will lead to an evaluation of the musical, cultural, and educational values that have been imposed by the historically dominant ideology in music education.132”…

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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Plus Size Historically Black Colleges & Universitites (HBCU) Dance Lines : Edward Waters University's Purple Thunder & Alabama State University's The Honey Bees


DoneBySightPhotograd, January 27, 2013

Check out Edward Waters College dance troupe Purple Thunder during the 2013 Honda Battle of the Bands

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“Leave the Door Open” ASU Honeybeez 2020-2021

Bee.U.Niversty, April 4, 2021

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Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases two YouTube videos of plus size dance lines from two Historically Black Colleges And Universities: Purple Thunder -a dance line auxiliary of  Edward Waters University's (Jacksonville Florida) marching band, and the Honey Bees, a dance line auxiliary of Alabama State University's marching band.

Information about these dance troupes are included in this post along with selected comments from these videos' discussion threads.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who have been or are now associated with Edward Waters University's Purple Thunder dance troupe and those who have been or are now associated with Edward Alabama State University's the Honey Bees dance troupe. 
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/10/a-weighty-subject-being-thick-in.html for a related 2011 pancocojams post entitled "
A Weighty Subject - Being Thick In African American Culture".

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INFORMATION ABOUT EDWARD WATERS UNIVERSITY
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Waters_University
"Edward Waters University is a private Christian historically Black university in Jacksonville, Florida. It was founded in 1866 by members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church) as a school to educate freedmen and their children. It was the first independent institution of higher education and the first historically black college in the State of Florida. It continues to be affiliated with the AME Church and is a member of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida."

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INFORMATION ABOUT EDWARD WATERS UNIVERSITY'S PURPLE THUNDER DANCE TROUPE
From https://ewcbands.com/purple-thunder/ Edward Waters College 
Triple Threat Band

Purple Thunder
"During an efficient day of band practice, several young ladies from the choir were teasing the former band director Mr. Marques Graham, confidently stating they could execute the same dance routines as petite dancers but better! Mr. Graham asked them to demonstrate their techniques. Mr. Graham then put forth the idea of having the first plus size dance squad, featuring the young ladies with the Triple Threat Marching Band during the 2002 homecoming show for the first time and everyone LOVED IT! At that time, Ms. Kathy and Bertran Daniels (the founders and leaders of the Purple Thunders) molded the dance squad to what it is today! The Purple Thunder has been an active squad since 2002 and will be often imitated! Our team performs throughout the year at various events, football games, basketball games, pep rallies, parades, and several Battle of the Bands."

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INFORMATION ABOUT ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY'S THE HONEY BEES
From 
https://theundefeated.com/features/alabama-state-honey-beez-bring-positive-plus-size-attitude-to-hbcu-dance-scene/ Alabama State Honey Beez bring positive, plus-size attitude to HBCU dance scene
The infamous dance squad has changed the game by promoting body positivity, confidence and self-love

Maya A. Jones, November 1, 2017
… "At ASU, band director James Oliver has been leading the charge for plus-size appreciation since creating the Honey Beez in 2004, four years after he began his collegiate career with his alma mater.

In all of Oliver’s years of being a high school band director and moving on to ASU, he noticed something was missing. The cheerleaders and drill teams were uniform in their looks. The Stingettes, ASU’s dance team, boasted energetic, petite young women clad in brightly colored two-piece dance suits, leotards and bodysuits that didn’t seem to go beyond a size 6.

[…]

“There have been plus-size girls that wanted to try out for the dance line. And of course, when I got here, all we had were the Stingettes,” Oliver said. “You can’t really give them that spot on the Stingette line because the uniform doesn’t fit like it should, so usually the plus-size girls run to the flag team. I decided that this is not fair for these girls. I wanted something different.”

[…]

“I asked five of my plus-size girls that were in the band,” Oliver said. “I said, ‘I have this idea. Do I have some plus-size girls who know how to dance and want to dance?’ And I had five girls who came out and said they’d try it.”

[…]

Their first official performance came a few months after the group was established. Their test run would be a home football game against Southern University in 2004. As their first uniforms, the five dancers wore bodysuits beneath football jerseys. According to Oliver, the response, for the most part, was positive. There were cheers after the performance and congratulatory messages to Oliver and the girls. But after the game, Oliver was confronted by detractors.

“There were people complaining to me and asking me why I was making fun of these girls,” Oliver said.

Oliver was in a tough position. Something that he viewed as a positive and inclusive moment had become tainted. Maybe those with opposing views were right. He didn’t want to put his dancers in a position where they’d be subjected to name-calling and more bullying. Discouraged, Oliver pulled the girls from the next game. He needed time to think.

“Did I want to continue to deal with the negativity? Or did I want to keep this going because the crowd loves it?” Oliver asked himself. “But the girls love it too. I made the decision that I was going to keep going. I didn’t care what anybody said. I thought these girls deserved a platform and I’m going to keep them.”

It was a decision Oliver will never regret. With the help of coordinator Ruth Anna M. Williams, the Honey Beez have a complete look with beautiful uniforms that the dancers can wear with confidence — and fiery, attention-grabbing routines to match.

[…]

The Honey Beez are now becoming a national sensation. The team has already appeared on Steve Harvey’s daytime television show and performed on the popular NBC program America’s Got Talent. Oliver’s ultimate goal for the girls is to get them featured on Black Girls Rock!, an award show created to “celebrate Black women who are trailblazers, change makers or dynamos in their respective fields.”

“With God’s will, their platform is out there now and they will tear the house down every time,” Oliver said.”
-snip-
Alabama State University's athletic team name is "the Hornets" and the main dance line is named "the Stingettes".

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SELECTED COMMENTS 

Numbers ae added for referencing purposes only.

Discussion thread #1 (This is the discussion thread for the first embedded video in this post.]
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27OXYXgJIV8&ab_channel=DoneBySightPhotograd

1. WhoIsSuper, 2013
"I was there and when I saw that literally everyone around me (including my self and my friends) went crazy!!"

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2. Ibdatvanicca, 2013
"They did that routine!!!! yeesss PT!!!"

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3. Melvin Byrd, 2013
"Yes, i too was shocked and amazed by what I saw.... You go girls, break those stereo types!!! PURPLE THUNDER!"

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4. WhoIsSuper, 2013
"I was there and when I saw that literally everyone around me (including my self and my friends) went crazy!!"

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5. Christopher Hammett, 2013
"this group stole the show...i was in the stands speechless when this girl did the flip!! AwSOME!!!"

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6. yuk747, 2013
"Just goes to prove big girls can be nimble too."

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7. Blue, 2013
"I LOVE these girls!!!!!!"

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8. Domonique White, 2016
"That was great! I really wish our school had a plus size Majorette team. Yall killed it."

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9. Yun 11, 2017
"Oh i was there@ this one!  Omo! I loved their performance! The really got the crowd hyped! Can't wait to see what's in store at the next one!"

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10. UNPACKED with Chief Ja'Nese, 2021
"She KILT that flip. My alma mater πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯"

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Discussion thread #2 (This is the discussion thread for the second video in this post.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnEN6y99ubY&ab_channel=Bee.U.Niversty

All of these omments are from April 2021 through Septemper 2021.

1. Cartina Overton
"YESSS, HONEYBEES BETTA WORK. Yall look good, I love it. They deserve more coverage."

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TLD1979
2. "
2003 Alum...The Honeybees are what we needed a LOOOOONG time ago! Love you ladies. You are making a difference."

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3. littleHERSHEY girl
"Our dance line and color guard is switched. We got big girls on our color guard and smaller girls on our dance line!! I’m loving this though!!! They are moving!!😍😍"

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4. Lozet Riley
"That's right big girls can dance and still show up  classy, the wardrobe was very tasteful and they danced with grace. I loved it."

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5. BUTLERU
"There aint nothing like an HBCU. Ya'll did that!"

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Reply
6. Sharon Watson
"You know"

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7. Patsy Brown
"WORK IT GIRLS πŸ€—πŸ‘ŠπŸ€©"

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 8. Carolinas SweetTea
"Let's give it up for Queen πŸ‘‘ on the frontline not looking back one time and to all these beautiful ladies representing❤️❤️❤"

*️*
9. Marcus Washington
"So.... I actually enjoyed them more than the Stingettes. Their style was more graceful.  Very nice ladies"
-snip-
The Stingettes is the name of the main dance line that is an auxiliary to Alabama State University's marching band.  The Stingettes was formed in 1977.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama_State_University

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Reply
10. Ernestine Miles
"Why does everything have to be this is better than that?"

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11. Tracy Henderson
"I love the honey bees it gives a lot of thick madame girls ladies understanding that we love to dance just as well and how the appearance can make other people think otherwise but looking at them and give other young or older people happiness to to do something that they love to do is "Dance"... Just like it make anybody other than Plus happy when they dance we're happy when we dance but we get shunned away because of the appearance of our size when we dance"

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Reply
12. Inspirebymikaeli
"Keep dancing your confidence and attitude is what everyone will notice and your size is just an asset."

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13, LatinDynasti
"Yass for the thick girls! Yall are beautiful"

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Reply
14. Renaissance Woman
"Thick and curvy are not the same as plus size. You can be any size and be curvy aka "thick".  The ladies are beautiful, point blank, and they do inspire people to be themselves."

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15. In Control
"....and never forget how good you look doing it Sis, it AIN'T nevah bout ya size, but ya swagaπŸ˜‰πŸ’―"

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16. Gwen Washington
"Good job ladies.   Keeping it classy.  Beautiful moves.  Represent!"

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