Donations Pour In to Band From Black College That Will Play at Inauguration
The Talladega College Marching Tornadoes band took a lot of heat in the last few weeks for agreeing to perform in Donald J. Trump’s inaugural parade. But on Friday the band learned that political heat can also be quite lucrative.
Talladega, a small, historically black college in Alabama, had been struggling to raise the $75,000 to send the band to Washington for the Jan. 20 inauguration.
But after the college’s president, Billy C. Hawkins, appeared Thursday on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, describing how their choice had been criticized by many, donations from the show’s largely conservative audience flooded in.
The band, which had raised about $50,000 on its GoFundMe page before Mr. Hawkins’s appearance on Fox, took in more than $333,000 by Friday evening.
“Some alumni have come at me pretty hard; they don’t want the band to participate and say I am a disgrace to my race,” Mr. Hawkins told host Bill O’Reilly. “But this is about the students having an opportunity to participate in this national ceremony.”
A number of artists, including prominent African-Americans, have said they would not perform at the inauguration of a president who built his political career leading the birther movement against President Obama, and on the campaign trail refused to disavow white supremacist supporters.
No other historically black colleges are participating in the Trump inaugural events, and the Talladega band had been condemned in the African-American community and by many of the school’s alumni.
But donors, giving mostly between $5 and $20, applauded the students’ courage and independence.
“Ignore the hatred!” a woman who gave $100 said on the GoFundMe page. “Enjoy one of the greatest moments YOUR COUNTRY has to offer. Safe travels and GOD BLESS you all!!!”Post too long. Click here to view the full text.
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