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Historically black college football classics are three-day extravaganzas, where the HBCU community congregates in the name of football, common culture, music and, most important, tradition.

Similar to a bowl game, outside of the stadium there are parades, tailgating and barbecuing with stereos blasting along with elaborate step shows.

When Beyoncé was still part of Destiny's Child, she performed at a Classic. In fact, a plethora of multiplatinum hip-hop and R&B artists -- such as A Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J and Stephanie Mills -- made HBCU Classics the place to be.


"It's an experience you only get at an HBCU, where the excitement over halftime [battles] between marching bands rival the actual game," says Aaron Polley, a Washington Redskins drum line musician who is a former Hampton University band member and has played at several Urban League Classics.

Time will tell if HBCU Classics will become a casualty of inevitable social evolution or remain a cultural phenomenon for generations to come. Football was the first draw for the Classics, and with the loss of talented players to other high-profile schools, attendance is dwindling.

In 1968, Morgan State upset Grambling State during the first historically black college football game in New York City, which drew more than 60,000 frenzied fans to Yankee Stadium.... Read more at