What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Cori Bostic is Florida A&M’s first female drum major of the Marching 100

She’s following in mom and dad’s footsteps as marching band alums

7:28 AMThe Florida A&M University Marching 100 has diversified its band leadership and made history by adding its first female drum major in the program’s 72-year existence.

Cori Renee Bostic, a 20-year-old junior broadcast journalism major from Decatur, Georgia, was appointed during FAMU’s annual band camp and will be heading the Marching 100 alongside two new drum majors, Joshua Honore and Marquel Bowen, during the upcoming band season.

News of Bostic’s historic appointment broke Tuesday and was confirmed by FAMU president Larry Robinson after he retweeted the news and added a congratulatory message.

“Our band leaders represent the diversity, dedication and academic prowess of our band scholars,” FAMU band director Shelby Chipman said in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunity to electrify Rattler fans/supporters near and far, as we also prepare to march in the Jan. 1, 2019, Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.”

Before the announcement went viral across social media platforms, Bostic shared the historic moment in a family group chat with a simple text: “I made drum major.”

“Cori is the oldest of 8 children,” said Lenise Bostic, Cori’s mother. “All her siblings in the family group went wild! She was very calm, but when I talked to her she and I both just screamed on the phone.”

Cori Bostic’s quest to become a drum major began long before she even stepped foot on FAMU’s campus. According to her parents, Cory and Lenise, Cori became enthralled with FAMU’s band after watching them perform at a game. Her love for music began early in life, and she began playing the oboe in fifth grade before switching to the piccolo during her seventh-grade year at Southwest Dekalb High School in Georgia.

Cory and Lenise are both FAMU alums who were members of the Marching 100, so it was no surprise that their musically inclined daughter would follow in her parents’ footsteps.

“She asked her [father] if she could be a drum major and he said, ‘If you work hard, yes,” Lenise Bostic said via email. “Both her [father] and I were in the 100 and we knew there had never been a female named to the position, but we have always supported her dreams. When she found out during her senior year that no women had ever been named a drum major, she told us that she would be the first!”

And Cori Bostic would do just that. According to Tiffany Ardley, Cori’s Delta Sigma Theta sorority adviser, drum major tryouts had taken place back in April. Friends and family had awaited this news for months. As the announcement began to spread across social media, Lenise and Cory Bostic couldn’t contain their excitement.

“We are elated,” Lenise Bostic said. “We are always proud when our children set a goal and work hard to achieve it. Cori is setting an excellent example for her younger siblings. We both marched in the 100. We have gone to homecoming each year and march in the alumni band. It was extra special her freshman year when we marched with her on the field. This year will be even more special as she will be leading us on the field. We are very proud of her.”

Get to know Tyler Mitchell, the photographer Beyoncé hired for Vogue

The 23-year-old Atlanta native will be the first black photographer to shoot the magazine’s cover in 126 years

12:57 PMWho knew Beyoncé was as good a photo editor as she is an entertainer? When she was given creative control over Vogue magazine’s all-important September issue this fall, she did something that several magazines still do not: She hired a black photographer to shoot the cover image. This marks the first time in the magazine’s 126-year history that an image created by a black person will grace its cover. Take a minute to marinate on that.

And Beyoncé chose well. Tyler Mitchell is a highly creative and ambitious photographer from Atlanta who now resides in Brooklyn. Despite his young age, he has already photographed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors for Teen Vogue, Lil Uzi Vert for The FADER, curator Kimberly Drew for i-D, Ashton Sanders for Office magazine and Vince Staples for Dazed.


The historical significance of this moment cannot be overstated. While print and digital publications have made it more of a priority to hire black writers (although progress in this arena has also been slow going), too often, the people shaping visual narratives are white, cisgender men, while the unique perspectives and talent of people of color are often pushed to the side and ignored.

Here is hoping that more celebrities will use their clout and platforms to encourage magazines to hire photographers of color to shoot their covers. And, more importantly, here is hoping that more photo editors follow Beyoncé’s lead in their hiring practices.