For more than a century, the homecoming experience at Florida A&M has been a staple in southern tradition. As people flood Tallahassee from around the nation, it is evident that FAMU is a prime location for fall festivities.
The experience features a variety of events this year, from barbecues to community worship service to the fashion and step shows. One of the most anticipated events for FAMU’s homecoming lineup is Superfest. With Bill Bellamy as host, this concert is slated to sell out the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center. It will also feature performances by Rick Ross, members of the Maybach Music Group and the Miami legend Uncle Luke.
Keith Robinson is a singer, songwriter and actor from the movie “Dreamgirls” and “35 and Ticking.”
“Living in Los Angeles, I know quite a few Famuans, and they all seem to have a certain thing about them,” Robinson said. “I am happy to be a part of this homecoming so I can feel it for myself. I’m bringing my music with me, too.”
Celebrity appearances are one addition to the many activities that attract thousands of people to homecoming each year.
“There is something to be said about the culture that is represented at this HBCU,” said Melia Watson, a senior cardiopulmonary student from Atlanta. “One of my favorite aspects of homecoming is watching the band perform. I’ve gone to see them since freshman year, and I know they will be missed this year.”
Although the Marching “100” is not currently representing FAMU, the legacy of the university’s band remains.
“The music hasn’t gone anywhere,” said Isaac Carter, president of the FAMU Chapter of Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association. “We still have great things going on in the music department, and we have a lot of talent and versatility that represents the one universal language of music.”
The 125th anniversary provides an added incentive to those contemplating missing out on the homecoming activities. Aside from music, FAMU plans to hold several events that should appeal to the community, student body, alumni and those in search of a good time.
“I love going to FAMU’s homecoming every year,” said John Alexander, a criminal justice student from Detroit. “I’m not ashamed to say – I’m going for the women.”
Kristen Colquitt, a Tallahassee Community College student from St. Petersburg feels that homecoming is more than just an event.
“It’s an experience,” Colquitt said. “The tradition of FAMU and the memories that are created during homecoming are something that I can say I was a part of, even though I don’t attend school there.”
It is likely for students attending the events during homecoming week to run across people from other schools, counties and states. Some have been known to save up for a year to get a fresh paint job or even a new wardrobe to impress the attendees of the festivities.
“Everybody is coming from different cities, and they bring music back home with them,” said rapper Chris “GameFace” Simmons, a senior accounting student from Ft. Lauderdale. “I think homecoming is a great opportunity to reach my fan base.”