ATLANTE–You could feel the energy as soon as you walked into Piedmont Park. The 15the The Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance’s annual 5K run/walk was able to reconvene in person after taking off due to the pandemic. Thousands of people gathered for the 8:00 race in absolutely perfect racing conditions. Weaving through the manicured lawns of Piedmont Park under a blanket of clouds that kept the sun from warming the area and provided optimal racing conditions, hundreds of runners took to the path donning the gear of their HBCUs. , fraternity/sorority accessories or the official race T-shirt.
Nicole Carr, captain of her sorority team, was thrilled with the turnout at the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance 5K. “It is a gathering of alumni of our schools and esteemed alumni and it is the pride of HBCU that has been going on for years here. I am here representing not only Winston Salem State, our alma mater, but also the Pi Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc…we came third in the Greek challenge to raise funds for schools. It’s about raising money for scholarships, it’s about supporting our students,” she said.
Scholarships are the real victory
Scholarships were not lacking. Book grants of $250 were distributed on site, and approximately five students left with this aid for their next semester at university. Scholarships were more important and were also distributed during the event.
Like we do in HBCUs when we come together, we work hard and play hard. With the DJ on stage, of course, it wouldn’t be an HBCU event without the line dances. With an HBCU-branded stage and tents spread across the Piedmont Park lawn, it was an example of the strength of a unified HBCU community.
The highlight of the race was probably the crowds that gathered at the finish line. They were there to encourage the runners to finish strong. More importantly, the level of knowledge of HBCU alumni about other HBCUs was widespread. As the runners crossed, someone was shouting something about schools. As the old North Carolina A&Ts crossed the finish line, you could hear people shouting “Aggie Pride.” Hearing the cries of “G-Men,” “Buddy”s Boys” — for SC State alumni and “Let’s Go Panthers,” was proof that while HBCUs are the kings and queens of jokes, unity is strong.
As a FAMU runner closed in on a Southern University runner near the end, someone shouted “You better run, there’s snakes behind you!” Another thing you heard about JSU alumni was “You better hurry up, Coach Prime don’t play that.” It was all in jest and made the event more special.
HBCU Alumni exposes young people to HBCU culture
One of the most important parts of the event was the integration of children. There was a massive recruitment going on by all the elders. It was a chance to expose the depth of HBCU culture to young people in a familiar environment…essentially a large family reunion.
The event was by all accounts a financial success in raising funds to help kids stay in college and for others to go to college. “Our chapter raised nearly $6,000 and 83 members joined here, it’s family. That’s it, it’s family,” Carr concluded.