Talladega College rethinking whether its band will march in Trump inaugural parade

The Talladega College marching band (shown here in a video posted on the band’s Instagram account in March 2016) is weighing whether to accept an invitation to perform at the inaugural parade for President-elect Donald Trump. (@talladegacollegemarchingband)

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The Talladega College marching band (shown here in a video posted on the band’s Instagram account in March 2016) is weighing whether to accept an invitation to perform at the inaugural parade for President-elect Donald Trump. (@talladegacollegemarchingband)

'Feels like we are selling out to get attention,’ one says

After intense backlash from alumni and on social media, Talladega College is reconsidering an invitation to its marching band to take part in President-elect Donald Trump's inaugural parade.

College President Billy C. Hawkins apparently was still weighing his options Wednesday night on whether the Marching Tornadoes will perform.

Greg Wilson, Talladega’s communications director, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday that Hawkins would make the call later today, but there was no announcement as of 8 p.m.

When word spread last week that Talladega was on the list of organizations slated to perform at the inauguration, it did not sit well with the alumni of the 150-year old black college, which is 107 miles west of Atlanta.

Shirley Ferrill, a 1974 graduate of the school, launched an online petition calling on the band to "withdraw from any inaugural events for Donald Trump."

As of Wednesday morning, it had more than 1,100 signatures.

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The Talladega College Marching Band recently performed at halftime during a New Orleans Saints game. Now they are considering an invitation to perform in the inaugural parade for President-elect Donald Trump. (Courtesy Talladega College Office of Public Relations and Communications.

The Talladega College Marching Band recently performed at halftime during a New Orleans Saints game. Now they are considering an invitation to perform in the inaugural parade for President-elect Donald Trump. (Courtesy Talladega College Office of Public Relations and Communications.

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The Talladega College Marching Band recently performed at halftime during a New Orleans Saints game. Now they are considering an invitation to perform in the inaugural parade for President-elect Donald Trump. (Courtesy Talladega College Office of Public Relations and Communications.

“I am not in favor of it, because of the posture that Trump has taken regarding black people and minorities. I don’t think that he has adequately represented minorities,” said Maurice Dukes, a 1968 Talladega graduate and resident of Atlanta. “It seems like an endorsement of his stance.”

With 16 days remaining until Donald Trump is installed as the 45th president, his team has had a tough time attracting A-list celebrities, or minority groups, to participate in his inauguration.

Talladega is the only HBCU, and one of only two college marching bands, slated to perform. Howard University, which is in Washington, D.C., declined an invitation – citing financial difficulties.

“This feels like we are selling out to get attention,” said Antiwan Walker, a 1993 graduate and English professor in the Atlanta area. “Being asked to march in the inaugural parade should be an honor. But for this person and that event – no. And it is already coming back to bite us.”

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This image of the Talladega College marching band was posted on the band's Instagram account in January 2016. The caption says that the image was from that year’s Jacksonville State game. (@talladegacollegemarchingband)

Credit: @talladegacollegemarchingband

This image of the Talladega College marching band was posted on the band's Instagram account in January 2016. The caption says that the image was from that year’s Jacksonville State game. (@talladegacollegemarchingband)

Credit: @talladegacollegemarchingband

caption arrowCaption
This image of the Talladega College marching band was posted on the band's Instagram account in January 2016. The caption says that the image was from that year’s Jacksonville State game. (@talladegacollegemarchingband)

Credit: @talladegacollegemarchingband

Credit: @talladegacollegemarchingband

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