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HBCU Homecoming

GHOE vs. Yardfest: The best HBCU homecoming is …

Both have undeniable brands. VOTE for the one you think is the best.

Students and alumni of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been debating all month on social media about who truly has the #bestHBCUHomecoming. Two former Rhoden Fellows, student interns for The Undefeated, offer their best arguments for Yardfest at Howard and the Greatest Homecoming On Earth (GHOE) at North Carolina A&T.

Comparing Howard’s homecoming to other homecomings is a disservice to the legacy that Howard has created in its 152 years of excellence. HBCU homecoming season is a holiday, and Howard homecoming is Christmas Day … and New Year’s Eve.

It’s spoken word, pork or vegan greens, melanin perfection, a Freebandz trap beat, an 808 drum, a Lauryn Hill education and a Summer Walker session. It’s generations of Howard graduates, DMV (D.C., Virginia and Maryland) natives and families who were created in dorm hallways.

It’s so black, as in black is beautiful, imaginative, creative and iconic. Yes, Howard homecoming is Yardfest, and a poppin’ tailgate, but it is more than Ciroc and Incredible Hulks. It’s a family reunion.

Howard’s homecoming is a room full of alpha chapter sorors and frats, it’s small gatherings in classrooms with mentors and mentees. It’s people who have no connection to Howard, but grabbed their girls, caught a plane and made their way to Georgia Avenue to catch a glimpse of what they’ve heard about.

After seeing the effects of gentrification, it may be what’s left of Chocolate City. While every HBCU is trying to compete with Howard, Howard homecoming is a brand, like Essence Fest and Coachella.

How many universities do you know that can bring Dapper Dan of Gucci, and Misa Hylton of MCM to their fashion show? Not only did those brands and innovators show up, but Howard students walked in their collections.

Howard homecoming is a cultural beacon like Black Twitter. It’s a trending topic and fashion frenzy. I’m talking camp, illest and trillest fashionistas with the likes, retweets and hashtags to prove it. The fashion of Howard Homecoming is what the Met Gala is missing.

Everywhere you turn, there are people who have chosen to forget the worries of the world, live in the moment and vibe. Kanye West reps President Donald Trump, but he still brought Washington and Howard together at 8 a.m. to praise Jesus. Georgetown was celebrating its homecoming, and even their students showed up … PERIOD.

Howard homecoming is black dollars for black businesses. Like blackness, there aren’t enough pages, words, metaphors, and hyperbole to express the magnitude of a Howard homecoming.

This was an ode to Howard. However, we celebrate all the magic made in this holiday season, so enjoy GHOE. As Wale said in the album he just happened to drop the weekend of Howard homecoming, “Sue me, I’m rooting for everybody black.”

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SUE ME the intro to @Wale new album Wow…That’s Crazy ?!? @howard1867 @hubisonsports @howardmbb @howardbison_wbb @howardcheer @howardbisonfootball TAG SOMEONE YOU SEE ⁉️⁉️ @4thdreams @waynebristoljr @_bean13 #Delta #Aka #Alpha #HU #HBCU #Howardhomecoming #BisonMadness #black #howarduniversity #howarduniversityhomecoming #Hbcubasketball #Meac @waynebristoljr @khalilhuncho1 @301steveo @w.livelavish @cameron_timmons @ian.lee @_bean13 @4thdreams @sipmikey @freebandzkyle_ @nategarvey13 @phildjones.8 @dr1zzydre1 @pstack_ @gj01_ @shiftyyanni @makayla.javon @love_brookie @star_thadon @crm_coe @__jayboogiee @kennethpoopeeblakeney @jbthepointgod @tythornton3 @eatkins0 @howardmbb @howardbison_wbb @howardalumni @howarding4u @howard_nphc @lastbisonstanding @howardu_cam

A post shared by Joshua Morgan-Green (@3threattraining) on

I hope to see you at the Mecca next year.


You don’t know what it means by now? Where you been?

The Greatest Homecoming on Earth (GHOE) and it’s far from an exaggeration, just ask all the Howard students making the 4½-hour trip to Greensboro, North Carolina, this weekend.

N.C. A&T’s weeklong celebration has been the precedent for all homecomings at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) for decades and this year is no different.

The Aggies will bring in GHOE 2019 as the best HBCU in the nation. North Carolina A&T is the largest HBCU in the country, with more than 12,000 students. Our football team is the back-to-back winner of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. That means we’re HBCU national champions. Plus, we produce the most black engineers in America and are ranked among the best public HBCUs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The mantra is simple: “Aggies do.” So when it comes to homecoming, it should be no surprise that North Carolina A&T is outdoing every other HBCU.

“It’s just a vibe, the entire week is a move,” said Tre Ingram, a senior multimedia journalism student and Student University Activities Board president. “A lot of homecomings you only think about going on a Friday and Saturday, but our homecoming will run from Sunday to Sunday. Nobody goes for a whole week like we do for homecoming.”

GHOE just has a different energy from any other homecoming. The Gym Jam is always jumping, the concert is live and the pep rally is notorious for its viral moments that have transcended the culture.

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What school is this? 🤣🔥 #ChiefKeef

A post shared by Chief Keef (@chiefkeefent) on Oct 12, 2019 at 12:09pm PDT

GHOE is a national brand because of its turnt social scene. Notables from Hillary Clinton to Migos and Gucci Mane have graced Greensboro to be a part of the festivities.

Yet what makes GHOE truly special is the strength of school pride that permeates the campus all week. Students and alumni unify and embrace what it means to come from one of the top cultivators of black excellence in the WORLD, y’all. IN … THE … WORLD!

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#GHOE is just getting started.. We did this on a sunday🤦🏾‍♂️🔥 #NCAT

A post shared by DJ Ojagga (@dj_ojagga) on Oct 21, 2019 at 7:22am PDT

Other schools that think their homecoming can compare to GHOE are delusional and probably couldn’t recognize a good time if Snoop Dogg invited them to a party hosted by Dennis Rodman.

“I appreciate them thinking they are better than us, but it will never happen,” Ingram said. “We love a little friendly competition, but I know at the end of the day we all know we have the greatest homecoming.”

Donovan Dooley is a former Rhoden Fellow and a multimedia journalism major from Tuscaloosa, AL. He attends North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University.

Tiffany Hoyd is a senior media journalism and film communications major from Murrieta, California. She serves as Howard's football manager and color commentator, and enjoys playing spades and listening to R&B.