Edited by Azizi Powell
This post provides information about Morris Brown College and showcases two videos from of Morris Brown University marching band. The second video also showcases Tennessee State University's marching band.
This post also includes selected comments from these videos' discussion threads.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who were associated with Morris Brown College's marching band, Tennessee State University's marching band, and other HBCU marching bands for their cultural legacies. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the producer and publisher of this video on YouTube.
INFORMATION ABOUT MORRIS BROWN COLLEGE
"Morris Brown College (MBC) is a private, coed, liberal arts college located in the Vine City community of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is a historically black college affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Although Morris Brown College is no longer a member of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, it is located within the Atlanta University Center (a district designated by the Atlanta City Council).
In 2002 it lost its accreditation and federal funding due to a financial mismanagement scandal during the 1998–2002 tenure of Dolores Cross as school president. The United Negro College Fund also terminated its support for the college....
In August 2012, Morris Brown filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to prevent foreclosure and sale of the school at auction. As of October 2015, the campus is still open, but dependent upon volunteer faculty and staff....
The 2002 film Drumline and the 2007 film Stomp the Yard were partly filmed on the campus of Morris Brown. In 2006 Warner Brothers filmed We Are Marshall in the football stadium.
This song [Outkast's "Morris Brown"] is about music. The song title pays homage to Atlanta's Morris Brown College, once known to have one of the greatest marching bands that ever existed (comparable to FAMU's marching 100). The band was featured in the movie DRUMLINE. This is why the track sounds like a marching band in the background."
The Rise, Fall, and Improbable Comeback of Morris Brown College
The embattled, groundbreaking Atlanta college — one of the few HBCUs with black founders — is hoping to go from cautionary tale to redemption story. by Donovan X. Ramsey, Oct. 28, 2015
..."For many people, the name conjures up the 2006 Outkast song, a tribute to the college that features its renowned band, the Marching Wolverines. But the school holds a special place within the tapestry of HBCUs. While schools like Morehouse, Spelman, and Howard position themselves as go-to institutions for the black elite, Morris Brown cultivated a reputation as an institution that could educate and uplift the most economically and socially disadvantaged black students, only to find itself crippled by a financial scandal. The college had an enrollment of 2,700 students in 2003; today, fewer than 20 are enrolled, taught by mostly volunteer faculty, and the campus is all but abandoned and sold off.
However, Morris Brown is on the rebound. Administrators have overcome a mountain of debt and doubt and have a plan to resurrect the institution. And while Gaines Hall and much of the sprawling campus are gone, the school’s well-maintained quad remains, dotted with small monuments and lush oak trees, bordered by the few buildings Morris Brown still owns and operates. All that’s missing is students...
As was the case for other HBCUs, increased opportunities for black students at predominantly white institutions thinned out the population of prospective students. The rising cost of tuition nationally made what students were left increasingly dependent on federal financial aid. Operating primarily on tuition dollars, Morris Brown was dangerously vulnerable to the whims of the federal government and its policies. Despite surviving so many trials over the years, without a long-term plan for financial survival, the college was on thin ice...
Homecoming was held at Morris Brown College this year, as it has been for more than a century. There was a day of community cleanup, convocation held at a nearby church, and finally a parade that ended with a cookout on the quad. The event wasn’t on the scale of homecomings past, when the entire area around the campus would pack with cars and the streets bordering campus would fill with tailgaters awaiting the big game and a performance by the Marching Wolverines. Instead, this year, a few hundred people marched from a neighborhood park to the campus.
Without the Marching Wolverines, the college borrowed the bands of nearby high schools to lead the parade. They were met on the quad by a few hundred alumni who packed the yard. There were live performances and food trucks, and, despite lots of bittersweet stories swapped about Gaines Hall, the crowd was in good spirits.
This week really shows just how special this place is to us,” says LaTrey Langston. “We may not all interact through the year, but we make it a point to come this weekend. Regardless of how this campus looks, there’s always a pilgrimage here on homecoming weekend. There’s no football game, but there’s family.”
These videos are presented in chronological order based on the marching band year.
Example #1: Morris Brown Purple Haze 2002
Book Multimedia Uploaded on Mar 3, 2008
Drumline Movie Premiere December 13 2002
"Purple Haze" is the name of the marching band for the fictitious college in the 2002 American movie Drumline. That college and its marching band was based on Morris Brown College.
Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drumline_(film)for information about that movie.
Example #2: Morris Brown Band vs Tenn St. Band at the first Honda BOTB 2003
Gentleman1911, Uploaded on Jul 19, 2006
Morris Brown vs Tenn St in the tunnel at the first Honda Battle of the bands. The battles in the tunnel were the best parts of Honda.
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THESE VIDEOS' DISCUSSION THREADS
These comments are given in relative chronological order, with the oldest dated comments given first, except for responses. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order.
I've assigned numbers for referencing purposes only.
1. Michael Lynn
"can anybody tell me da name of dis cadence"
2. mrant7064 years ago
"@drummer706boi SERIES is the name of the cadence"
3. 78donjon, 2012
That's a hot cadence! Great to bus 90's to!!
"listen to dem snares nice"
"snares" = snare drums
"i think MBC is the only HBCU to have a white drum major. the only other HBCU to have a non black DM was Grambling with the South American guy."
MBC - Morris Brown College
HBCU - Historically Black College & University
DM = drum major
"@unigamehead No, Albany state had a white drum major, and I think one year FAMU had a white/hispanic drum major or something."
FAMU - Florida A&M University
"eww, secretly ive loved these DM's forever. + looking around+ I say my order of best are MBC, JSU, FAMU(only cause that death march is sick), and BCU...... But im still a Spartan till i die!!!!"
JSU - Jackson State University
"Spartan" here may refer to the HBCU University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Also the name "sigmabear1914" refers to the historically Black Greek letter fraternity Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. which was founded in 1914.
"@ophib88 cough...cough...and scsu...101..."
"SCSU" - the HBCU South Carolina State University
"I still call them the most INTIMIDATING DM on the planet. That Pat Boom is so sick!!!"
10. Jay R. Diggem
"WHITE BOI DOIN HIS THANG>>>FUNK IT OUT BOI!!!!"
"aye thats White Chocolate! My sister played basketball for them [around this time] lol and she used to love him... I miss these days!"
12. Jss Pss
"MBC had the best drum majors while they were in existence. One smooth and creative band. RIP MBC"
12. Marion Simmons
"They not dead 😐 mobrown still alive"
13. Jss Pss
"+Marion Simmons on life support"
16. Marion Simmons
"No they accreditation back they just tryna get the errollment up"
17. Quan Chew
"WOW! This is how a Drum Major march. They are freaking UNBELIEVABLE!"
18. wanda king
"They literally had the best drum majors ever!"
19. p full
"They are good, but JSU (Sonic Boom) they are the best in the country."
"please leave the building MBC had the game on lock and this is coming from a swac fanatic"
Swac: from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwestern_Athletic_Conference
"The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is a collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black universities (HBCUs) in the Southern United States."...
21. Marion Simmons, 2016
"no sir morris brown had the best on this planet"
22. Meghan Monroe
"Watching this gives me chills. Dope!!!"
23. Charlie Harris
"The coldest Percussion section of all time."
"The video that started it all. Tunnel battles have been the norm ever since. #MBCTrendsetters #Wayaheadofthetime "
"If Morris Brown band still existed and was this size a lot of bands would be in trouble"
3. michael wright
"yep Morris Brown was like that back in the day against anybody. and actually they put fear in other bands because they had such a powerful brassy sound.
Morris Brown and Alabama State are the only two bands I remember in the 70's, that would go to Tallahassee and get standing ovations.
now SU would get boos, not because they weren't good, but because they were envied. The FAMUans new that SU would stand up and most of the time blow FAMU out!"...
-snip-SU- Southern University
4. Denzel Warrington
"what is the name of the first song morris brown played"
"400 Degrees by Juvenile"
"I still watch this in 2015! I wish they were still around."
7. David King
"+mont this video will never get old"
8. Mark Pettway
9. Mark Pettway
"+Mark Pettway I miss them"
"They are ......they re building"
11. Covington Thompson, 2016
"+Malik Moore Morris Brown is not a college anymore they loss thier accreditation a while back the school does not exist."
12. Malik Moore, 2016
"they came back but their financialy weak
their building back look up there band from 2012 up to now"
13. Covington Thompson, 2016
"+Malik Moore on HBCUbuzz posted in oct. of 2015 they said no the last year they had a band was 2012. 2014 was the last year they had any actual students (which was only like 20) the school is still operating as a business although they currently have no students. they are working on rebuilding the school again especially after the fires and then having to sell some of the older buildings to get out of debt. but its gonna be some years before morris brown ever gets back to what it use to be, if they can ever recover
the fires and then having to sell some of the older buildings to get out of debt. but its gonna be some years before morris brown ever gets back to what it use to be, if they can ever recover"
14. Gl T1
"Just a reminder...
Honda told the bands NOT to play in the Tunnels.
Who listens to people with authority in Band Life?
It started with the smaller groups first. (Morehouse, CAU, and JCSU) were playing at each other.
What didn't make it on to this footage was TSU playing R. Kelly's Ignition Remix.
THAT is what made u want to play. 400 wasn't counted off... The Tuba Section said, "We're Going to Play" They Counted it Off and this is what was recorded.
"Bia Bia" was not counted off either...a lead in works well for bands.
"Bia Bia" was the name of one of the songs played by the Morris Brown band.
HBCu universities mentioned:
CAU = Clark Atlanta University
JCSU = Johnson C. Smith University
TSU- Tennessee State University
15. James JonesII
"Man I get cold chills watching this! Hats off to all the big bands out there."
16. Mont S
"Wow, I attended MBC from 01-03 right when the madness started. Im from Detroit and all I can say is there was no love like Morris Brown love. I graduated from Clark but my heart bleeds "DEAR OL MORRIS BROWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNN" Auc ain't what it use to be. Anybody reading this can tell you how live the AUC was in the early 2000s. Oh yea, can't forget getting food from Stiegel's."
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