- Faith & Family
With the recent indictment of 13 band members held responsible for the hazing-related death of drum major Robert Champion last fall, the sun continues to set on the once mighty Marching 100. Last weekend’s retirement of former band director Julian White and President James Ammons’ decision to suspend the band for the next school year might seem to some like the final nail in the coffin. But there are some other equally important issues that must still be addressed.
We believe that the tradition that has made FAMU great and its Marching 100 known around the world should not be destroyed. But things must change — hopefully that change has already begun. Many young men and women have learned how to work as a team, have mastered their instrument and have gone on to careers as band directors, musical teachers or other related positions because of the training they received while at FAMU.
But as we know, some chose to hold on to ways of the past that were illegal, dangerous and in some cases deadly. Those who are responsible for the death of Robert Champion or the injuries of others should admit to their crimes. They will have to pay the price. Then there will need to be a day of reckoning and a new way of doing things at FAMU.
One thing that we hope won’t change is the magnificent marching prowess of FAMU’s precision-minded high steppers. Many of you may recall wonderful days of the brothers and sisters of FAMU taking to the field decked out in their green and orange.
FAMU may be at one of its lowest points in its history but Blacks are accustomed to rising from the ashes like the phoenix. It’s time for FAMU’s alums and Blacks who truly care about our historically-Black colleges to stand firm. Hazing has no place in the future but we pray that FAMU’s Marching 100 will one day see the light again.