Talladega College’s band has accepted an invitation to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration parade, according to the Associated Press — and not everyone is happy about it.
We were a bit horrified to hear of the invitation,” Talladega graduate Shirley Ferrill told the AP. “Ignore, decline or whatever, but please don’t send our band out in our name to do that.”
The historically black liberal arts college has agreed to march in the parade after other HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), such as Howard University, opted not to participate.
Another critic of the decision said, “After how black people were treated at Trump’s rallies, you’re going to go and shuck and jive down Pennsylvania Avenue? For what? What they did is a slap in the face to other black universities,” according to the AP.
Descendants of slaves founded Talladega College in 1867. Meanwhile, Marist College is also facing backlash for deciding to send its band to the parade.
“They don’t want to have anything to do with the inauguration or President Trump and we respect that, and that’s their right,” school spokesman Greg Cannon told the AP.
As TheWrap first reported, Trump’s team is struggling to book A-list performers for his inaugural festivities, with two talent bookers saying they were offered ambassadorships if they could deliver marquee names. The inauguration team has its sights set on top-tier talents like Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Aretha Franklin, and are willing to pay steep fees for the performers.
Trump’s team has managed to enlist 16-year-old former “America’s Got Talent” star Jackie Evancho to sing the national anthem. They’ve also booked the Radio City Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and now Talladega College’s band.
Several high-caliber performers have already publicly rejected requests to take part in the Jan. 20 festivities, including Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Elton John and opera singer Andrea Bocelli.