Redefining Tradition: A New Chapter for the Southern Heritage Classic
The Southern Heritage Classic is back! But this time, we welcome a new cat, the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions.
It's Not Just About Football
The Southern Heritage Classic has been a staple in the Midsouth Community for decades. Not just involving the participating schools but the local community, high schools, and businesses; they all benefit from this celebratory experience. And it's not just about football.
An Opportunity to Create New Traditions
As a Tennessee State University alum and a beloved Memphian, listen, I am beyond excited! Despite Jackson State abruptly pulling out last year, I believe this is an opportunity to create new traditions and enhance the experience.
Kelsi Woods shares similar sentiments about the tradition of the Southern Heritage Classic. "It's unfortunate that JSU is no longer participating. Growing up, attending the Southern Heritage Classic was something that I looked forward to every year. I was excited for the great vibes, the big game, and the overall great experience. With me being a Memphis Native and a JSU Alum, I got the best of both worlds!"
It's Where My HBCU Love was Cultivated
Like Kelsi and many others, I've been participating in the Southern Heritage Classic for over 20 years, long before I was officially associated with the school. It's where my HBCU love was cultivated.
As a high school student, I couldn't wait until the 2nd weekend in September to get with my friends (sometimes in matching outfits) to tailgate, pick a tiger to rep, and engage in passionate debates about which school had the best (fill in the blank).
Celebrate and Reunite, and All are Welcome
With the University of Memphis so prominent in this area, The Classic presented something unique, something as a young black high school student I had never seen in the city, promoting HBCU pride, unity, advancement, and possibility!
And 34 years later, it still does.
Deidre Ellis, a local Memphian, and Howard University graduate, summed it up perfectly, "It’s like an HBCU celebration, reunion, and homecoming all-in-one for our city."
And that's just what we plan to do again this year: celebrate and reunite, and all are welcome.
See ya There
The Southern Heritage Classic has been and always will be an annual celebration that ignites a sense of unity, showcases cultural richness, and strengthens the bonds of community. Check out the list of events for the entire weekend.