This is a new era for ratter football. National alumni contributions are at an all-time high, including more than $ 750,000 for the Field House renovation. The Rattlers are now members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which takes the program to a higher level. City and county commissioners helped raise more than $ 10 million to renovate the Bragg Stadium.
All of this represents unparalleled support for a football program recognized as one of the most honored in the history of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. And yet, in the Big Bend community – where that level of excellence was bred and born – the Rattler teams have not received the respect and support they deserve from many in the private sector.
Some businesses and white fans have generously shown their support, but the majority of citizens and businesses have not heeded the call. Some hotel, car dealership, restaurant, law firm, and fast food chain owners love our dollars, but not our teams.
African Americans drive cars, eat, stay in hotels, and hire law firms to fight legal issues for them. We are all over the community, spending hard earned dollars fueling the economy and helping the rich get richer. But the owners of these facilities did not return the favor.
That could change. A new campaign by the 220 Quarterback Club and FAMU Boosters aims to attract more private sector supporters to help the Rattlers get a feeding program, as is common at other colleges across the country. Individuals can help with a contribution of just US $ 1. We ask companies to pay at least $ 1 per employee.
The nation is going through one of the most difficult periods of racial relations since the post-Reconstruction era. But there are signs that the nation is also realizing the role black universities have played in the past in helping this nation become the best example of democracy in the world.
We have paid for our road to full citizenship by fighting in every war the nation has faced and doing our best – in the most difficult of circumstances – to improve the quality of life for all peoples, regardless of who they are and where they are I’m from.
On Wednesday September 1st – five days before the 2021 Rattlers season kicks off against the Jackson State University Tigers in the Orange Blossom Classic – we will pay tribute to our most generous participants in this campaign.
We want everyone to support their favorite teams, including Florida State University Seminoles, Tallahassee Community College, and all high schools in this community. But there is another team in town that deserves your best wishes and financial support.
Please remember that a football team – like an army – travels on their stomach.
HOW TO HELP
Make checks payable to the FAMU Foundation, Account # 2148, Football Nutrition Program. Mail to FAMU Foundation, 625 E. Tennessee St., Suite 100, Tallahassee, FL 32308. You can also donate online at FAMU.edu/give using # 2148 and 32308.
Eddie Jackson is FAMU’s retired vice president of university relations. Reach him at [email protected]
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