An HBCU marching band that was invited to participate at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration says it has not yet committed to doing so.
According to Diverse Education, Talladega College was included on a list of 40 organizations purportedly slated to perform at the ceremony on Jan. 20. The list was released by Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC).
Howard University, an HBCU that performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, said they did not apply to march at Trump’s inauguration.
“From Trump’s inaugural committee, via their press release, we are listed as one of the schools in attendance, but the official word that I’m receiving from the president is that a decision has not been made as to whether we would attend or not,” a Talladega representative said. An email sent from Diverse Education to the PIC was not returned.
The news has sparked sharp debate about the band’s decision to participate, with people taking to social media to express strong opposition and support for Talladega.
“Talladega College, Alabama’s oldest private HBCU, marching band will perform at Trump inauguration” pic.twitter.com/x9yRXoINJ5
— Ivy✨ (@_MissIvyy_) January 3, 2017
Howard’s band is not playing at the inauguration. Talladega College is. Use another pic instead of just picking any photo of an HBCU band. https://t.co/yGeKQL1yMJ
— Victoria M. Walker (@vikkie) January 3, 2017
Talladega College’s Administrators, who are forcing their band members, the “Marching Tornadoes” to march for Trump, a racist is disgusting. pic.twitter.com/j5avn63cfM
— Adam B. Bear (@democraticbear) January 2, 2017
— ????Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) January 4, 2017
Congratulations to talladega band ???????? for participating in the inauguration parade
— Will. (@WillSomeElse) December 23, 2016
An alum of the college created a petition requesting that Talladega withdraw from the parade.
“As an alumnus I respectfully request that Talladega College Band withdraw from any inaugural events for Donald Trump,” Shirley Pratt Ferrill wrote on Monday, garnering 469 supporters as of Tuesday afternoon. “In view of his behavior and comments I strongly do not want Talladega College to give the appearance of supporting him.”