From line dances to fraternity and sorority stepping, Miami got a full dose of HBCU love this weekend from alumni and current students at Rolling Oaks Park in Miami Gardens. The South Florida HBCU Picnic drawing close to 2,000 guests from as far as West Palm Beach to join in on the festivities to celebrate Historical Black Colleges and Universities.
Jewel Reid graduate from North Carolina A&T State University was one of attendees who traveled from Palm Beach to experience the day.
"The HBCU picnic was a great opportunity to fellowship with NC A&T alumni and other HBCUs [alumni]. said Reid. "Especially for those who are new to town, it was a great way to meet new friends and make new connections."
The annual event was imperative for picnic organizer Melody Miller, a graduate from Howard University. It's an important day for youth attending the picnic. This exposure to Black and Brown college graduates is a tool for raising their level of expectations in life.
"It is important to understand that we can offer ourselves the best and the highest education. When I attended Howard I didn't only get an education, I got an enrichment for my life and that's why this day is important. That's why it's important to go to an HBCU," Miller said.
Participating HBCU schools and organizations were Tuskegee University, Bethune Cookman University, Florida Memorial University, Florida A&M State University, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Tennessee State, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Alcorn State, Grambling State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Omega Psi Phi, and Black Professionals Network.
Also in attendance were State Sen. Oscar Braynon, picnic founder and Opa-locka Mayor Matthew Pigatt, Miami Gardens Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro and Miami Gardens Councilman Reggie Leon.