Tennessee State University is celebrating its centennial year in 2012, and the Big Blue calendar is dotted with a variety of events to commemorate 100 years of service in the Land of Golden Sunshine. But a controversy over changes to the TSU homecoming parade may prove to be the biggest headline emerging from a year of reflection and accomplishment for one of America’s great HBCUs.
At stake, a parade route that commonly brings the heart of TSU’s organizations and alumni participants through Nashville’s Jefferson Street, a bustling hub of black entrepreneurship in restaurants, shops and nightlife. But two area shootings during last year’s festivities have made university officials wary of safety concerns, and negative publicity for its keynote event of the fall semester.
The result – a recently announced change in the route that will keep the parade closer to campus, and some alumni and community supporters at arm’s length.