The Marching 100 Shines at the 5th Quarter Classic

Journey back to title of ‘Baddest Band in the Land’ began in Mobile.

Journey back to title of ‘Baddest Band in the Land’ began in Mobile.

The FAMU Marching 100 showed out at the 5th Quarter Classic last weekend, earning coverage in several pop culture websites and taking the Weekend Winner HBCU crown.

The band has recovered from low membership, hired a new director of bands, and is working to wrestle mainstream coverage away from Southern University’ Human Jukebox, which over the last five years, has taken the unofficial top spot as America’s favorite HBCU marching band.

It’s been a rough road for the Marching 100 since the November 2011 hazing death of Robert Champion, and even moreso from an institutional perspective. Last week, president Elmira Mangum stepped down after reaching an agreement with the board of trustees, following nearly two years of public infighting.

FAMU is working to make up for enrollment shortfalls, and lingering questions about the direction and the politics surrounding its leadership. And, there’s that little issue of FAMU football being among the worst in the MEAC.

But the Marching 100 is back, and for many, one of the school’s oldest and most recognizable brands is a signal of the school’s work to recover and to thrive.

And that’s good news for Rattler Nation, and the national HBCU community at large.

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