HBCUs, Homecoming & the Spirit of the Moment
October 30, 2020
During a week and month when many historically black colleges and universities would normally be holding Homecoming celebrations, the “HBCUs, Homecoming, & the Spirit of the Moment” webinar examined the role of Homecoming at HBCUs and what insights it has to offer colleges and universities across the sector. Panelists Dr. Johnny Hill (Dean of the Shaw University Divinity School, and Morehouse College alumnus), Amoni Thompson (a poet, graduate student, and alumna of Spelman College), and Reverend Gloria Winston-Harris (Director of the Spiritual Development and Dialogue Center at North Carolina Central University and an alumna of NCCU, as well) highlighted why Homecoming is so cherished at HBCUs.
“Homecoming is a gathering space for black life, that honors and celebrates the dignity of black bodies in a sacred space,” Dr. Hill commented. “It’s a family reunion,” connecting generations of students, alumni, staff, and faculty together each year, Rev. Winston Harris shared in response to a question about how she relates to Homecoming. Each panelist made clear that, even when so many Homecomings are virtual or cancelled this year, the values it represents stays with them. As so many colleges and universities think more deeply about what values bind them together during this difficult time “the legacy and sense of ritual that I feel at [Homecoming] is really beautiful,” Amoni Thompson said, and serves as a reminder of the kind of welcoming, inclusive community a campus can foster.