TALLADEGA, Ala. — President-Elect Donald J. Trump has released the list of groups performing in his Inauguration Day Parade, and like his administration, it has Alabama well represented. The marching band from Talladega College, America’s oldest private, historically black liberal arts college, will make an appearance alongside various other ensembles from around the country.
In total, There will be more than 8,000 parade participants representing forty organizations including high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, and veterans groups.
“People from every corner of the country have expressed great interest in President-elect Trump’s inauguration and look forward to continuing a salute to our republic that spans more than two centuries,” said Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Sara Armstrong. “As participants follow in the footsteps of our new president and vice president down Pennsylvania Avenue, they will be adding their names to the long list of Americans who have honored our country by marching in the inaugural parade.”
Talladega College opened in 1867 and was founded by two former slaves: William Savery and Thomas Tarrant. Today, the private HBCU has 1,500 students on its 50 acre campus. The band, known as The Great Tornado, was founded in 2012, and is the schools largest student organization with 200 members.
While other HBCU marching bands, such as Howard University, turned down President-Elect Trump’s invitation for political reasons, TC has not backed down. But, boy, is the left angry about it.
The Huffington Post compiled several tweets, including alumni, demonstrating the left’s outrage.
Shame on #talladegacollege ! Do not sell your souls! I hope there are protests and discussions underway on campus to stop this outrage.
— Marilyn Richardson (@MarilynElaine) January 2, 2017
Talladega College's band is performing in the Trump Inaugural parade. They should play The Imperial March start to finish.
— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) January 1, 2017
#Talladega , why..just why. Smh
— Miss Shanna-mama (@sncoop1920) January 3, 2017
However, one TC student, Dollan Young, has started a petition to defend the band.
“As a supporter of the Talladega College Band I am in agreement that the Talladega College Band should participate in The 58th Presidential Inaugural Parade. We believe that this parade is not about politics…it’s about seeing first hand the process of a transition,” the petition reads. “It’s not to support [a] political party…its about the experience that the students will obtain. We are not one-track thinkers and believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. However we are in support of The United States of America.”