Jackson State Band-Inauguration

JACKSON — A Mississippi college marching band is set to participate in an official event celebrating diversity ahead of the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South will be a featured band in the "We Are One" virtual event Tuesday, the historically Black college said in a statement Monday. The show is one of several such official inaugural events marking Biden and Harris' swearing-in the following day.

Harris and other Black leaders are also expected to speak during the livestreamed show, which the school said will "honor the Black community and African Diaspora through powerful speakers, inspiring stories and musical entertainment."

"Being invited to participate in the virtual inauguration activities for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed upon our program," said Jackson State band director Roderick Little. "This is a historical mark in the history of civilization, and our students get to partake in this event and be immortalized in the storybook of this great nation."

Tony Allen, CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said the event is supposed to mark "coalitions that make up the nation coming together to celebrate a new chapter in history."

The Sonic Boom marching band was started in the 1940s and was dubbed the "Sonic Boom of the South" in 1971. The university will be joined by other HBCUs in a Battle of the Bands, including South Carolina State University's Marching 101 and Southern University's Human Jukebox Marching Band.

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