By Tribune Staff
The annual Homecoming Parade use to be a crown jewel in Tennessee State University’s homecoming activities. It was a family friendly event designed to showcase the best Nashville’s Black community had to spotlight in terms of personalities, culture and sensibilities. But something has happened in recent years, and it’s not a good thing. Anyone who witnessed this past Saturday’s spectacle (and that’s what part of the parade has become) and had attended parades from decades ago know this parade has taken some major steps backwards.
The first thing, it’s no longer something any parent who’s trying to raise children to be adults with dignity and integrity would want to bring their children to witness. The sight of scantily clad young women and young girls from some dance studios cavorting, twisting and gyrating down the street might be desirable for some other situations, but not for a daytime family homecoming parade. It was sad to see the very young young girls cavorting like teenagers. No question there are lots of places where this type of atmosphere and presentation is perfectly appropriate but the Homecoming Parade isn’t Mardi Gras in New Or- leans or St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago or New York. There are other festive occasions where all types of conduct, dress and attitudes are welcome.
The Homecoming Day Parade is supposed to be a celebration of TSU and North Nashville’s finest. There were times during last Saturday’s event when it seemed the atmosphere was more late night than daytime.
Certainly it takes funds to do anything, and it’s understandable the Parade must has contributing businesses and organizations, but there must be a better way to ensure more stability and orderly presentation.
We understand Homecoming Week is a time for people to get together, have fun, enjoy the game, and celebrate. The Homecoming Parade should reflect that, but in a respectful manner that can be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone from 8 to 80. There’s no need to cheapen it, or make it seem as though it’s just another event where everything’s up for sale. It’s been a vi- tal part of the Homecoming celebration for many years, and we’d like to see that continue.
But we’d also like it to
be more like a salute and appreciation of our culture and community than one more outing where anything and everything goes, and there’s no standards or limits.
Sadly, the past few parades have been emblematic of a deeper problem in our society, where materialism and excess reign, and tastefulness and decorum are mocked and considered passe. Let’s not let the Homecoming Parade become a victim of that attitude and behavior.
The Tribune would like to make this suggestion: That the Homecoming Parade re-evaluate its standards for participation and presentation. But whatever TSU does, we’d like to see the elimination of dance routines with outfits more suitable for a nightclub than a day- time parade. The same is true in regards to floats with no purpose or signs as to who they were. Eliminate all trucks with 2 people just in the parade for a ride and fun and no signs of who they were.
TSU should establish some limits on what can be displayed, and recruit more of our local citizens and community leaders to have input about our community TSU parade.