The importance of Tennessee State’s Homecoming celebration

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Nashville, Tennessee is a city where everyone loves to flock to these days.

And like every city, there are certain events that bring everyone out. One of those events is this weekend with TSU Homecoming.

This Saturday, the Tigers face off against the Tennessee Tech Eagles at Nissan Stadium, the home they share with the Titans.

The games, parties, and events all capture the attention of everyone, but that isn’t what makes the homecoming of the HBCU standout the most.

Tennessee State’s pageantry and the game are part of the show, but they are not all of it. Plenty of people gather with family and tailgate all day. The game is something they want to watch, but it isn’t the entire show though.

Plenty of people sit outside and enjoy spending time with their families while listening to music and partying and don’t even attend the game despite having tickets. The reason for that is that Homecoming is more than just a game for plenty.

The city, especially the African-American community, has an affinity for Tennessee State and wants to be a part of the university for the most part.

The school’s rich history and importance to the city is much more than just Homecoming, but it allows us to celebrate the school for the great things that it has done for our communities.

Raimil Swanigan, a Tennessee State alum who arrived in Nashville back in 1997, sees it as a reason for celebration and reflection.

“For me personally, Homecoming is a big deal simply because I get the opportunity to support the university that gave me the confidence to think, work and serve,” said Swanigan, a Brownsville native. “It also serves as a mini-family reunion because my cousin lives near the university and my family from Brownsville, Tennessee always meets up at his house to enjoy fellowship with each other.”

Corey Jackson, another Tennessee State alum who came to school here from out of town, has a little bit different vision for what Tennessee State Homecoming means to him.

“The city benefits from it and it is an inspiration for the youth that the hopes of going to the school, from the football game to the parade and the pep rally,” he said.

Jackson and Swanigan came here and were connected to the university, but Nikki Walker grew up and went to school at Tennessee State, so her connection to the school goes back to her childhood.

“TSU Homecoming to me means rich tradition,” Walker said. “As a young, Black child growing up in Nashville, TSU is the college your parents teach you about first. They teach you the historical element, as TSU was one of the first colleges Black people could attend as well as the part it took in the Civil Rights era.”

“TSU Homecoming means connecting with old friends and meeting new ones,” she continued. “For the city, it is the one time we all get together to celebrate Black excellence whether you went to the school or not. It always brings the city together through the good and the bad. I am a proud alumnus of Tennessee State University. It taught me to be proud of my heritage and to always show excellence in all that I do.”

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