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JSU’s Sonic Boom of the South joins with YouTube for original livestream event

The Sonic Boom of the South is known for their high-energy, high-stepping, fiery performance style. (Photo by Charles A. Smith)

The Sonic Boom of the South is known for their high-energy, high-stepping, fiery performance style. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

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Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South is partnering with YouTube for “HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me on the Yard.”

Dr. Roderick Little, serves as director of bands at JSU. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

Dr. Roderick Little, serves as director of bands at JSU. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

The two-hour event will livestream on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m., and celebrate the excellence of HBCU culture and traditions, including celebrity guests and a performance by the Sonic Boom.

A collaboration with Jesse Collins Entertainment and Live Nation Urban, the YouTube Original show will raise funds for the United Negro College Fund, which will split proceeds with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The homecoming event will also feature Greek step shows, students, alumni and YouTube creators.

“I feel as though we are in a time of monumental movement for HBCUs. Although the way we’ve gotten to this movement (racial injustice) isn’t ideal, it is definitely warranted and past due,” says Dr. Roderick Little, director of bands at JSU.

Little notes that YouTube is the second largest social media platform in the world. The notion of HBCUs and the Sonic Boom being showcased, he says, is a sure way to speak to the glory of all HBCUs and their storied legacy.

“Meet Me on the Yard” is one of a series of shows created from YouTube’s $100 million fund – #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund – devoted to illuminating the works of Black creatives and accentuating “Black experiences around the world,” according to a release.

“I feel like the students, and I are a part of this new movement of heightened awareness of HBCUs,” says Little, who is also an assistant professor of music.

As evidence, he notes the recent influx of five-star athletes committing to HBCUs, an increase in major philanthropic gifts, and JSU securing Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as head football coach.

“In my opinion, the deep appreciation for HBCUs is just getting started,” he says.