JSU’s Sonic Boom of the South joins with YouTube for original livestream event

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South is partnering with YouTube for “HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me on the Yard.”

The two-hour event will livestream at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and celebrate the excellence of HBCU culture and traditions, including celebrity guests and a performance by the Sonic Boom.

The Sonic Boom of the South is known for its high-energy, high-stepping, fiery performance style. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

A collaboration with Jesse Collins Entertainment and Live Nation Urban, the YouTube Original show will raise funds for the United Negro College Fund, which will split proceeds with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The homecoming event also will feature Greek step shows, students, alumni and YouTube creators.

“I feel as though we are in a time of monumental movement for HBCUs. Although the way we’ve gotten to this movement (racial injustice) isn’t ideal, it is definitely warranted and past due,” said Dr. Roderick Little, director of bands at JSU.

Little noted that YouTube is the second largest social media platform in the world. The notion of HBCUs and the Sonic Boom being showcased, he said, is a sure way to speak to the glory of all HBCUs and their storied legacy.

“Meet Me on the Yard” is one of a series of shows created from YouTube’s $100 million fund – #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund – devoted to illuminating the works of Black creatives and accentuating “Black experiences around the world,” according to a release.

Dr. Roderick Little serves as director of bands at JSU. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

“I feel like the students and I are a part of this new movement of heightened awareness of HBCUs,” said Little, who is also an assistant professor of music.

As evidence, he noted the recent influx of five-star athletes committing to HBCUs, an increase in major philanthropic gifts, and JSU securing Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as head football coach.

“In my opinion, the deep appreciation for HBCUs is just getting started,” he said.