The importance of marching band culture in the overall experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is now chronicled in a new bestselling book envisioned by The HBCU Experience Movement, LLC. “The HBCU Experience: The HBCU Band Alumni Edition” shares stories by band alumni from various HBCUs. Published in April 2021, it is believed to be the first-ever HBCU band anthology and is the 6th book in the movement.
The goal of the movement is to work with all 107 HBCUs to create partnerships and endowments to increase enrollment and alumni giving, according to Dr. Ashley Little, the founder, chief executive officer, and visionary author of The HBCU Experience Movement. For “The HBCU Experience: The HBCU Band Alumni Edition,” a portion of the Amazon proceeds will go to the HBCU National Band Directors’ Consortium while a portion of the Amazon proceeds for each of the other books will go to the featured HBCU. “It’s all about giving back at the end of the day,” Little says.
Dr. Christy Walker, lead author of the latest book, was connected with Little in October 2020. As lead author, Walker helped gather other contributors. In total, 36 notable HBCU band alumni authored chapters in this book. It’s important to show “how HBCU bands helped to make us who we are today,” says Walker, who previously co-founded The 5th Quarter, a website dedicated to HBCU bands.
Little says that she knows the value of alumni in telling their own stories. “Everybody in that book has been history makers,” she says. “Nobody can share our stories like us.”