Today, We Are All Howard Bison! #MissionPossible

HBCU culture needs to celebrate our collective wins — like Howard U.’s upset win over UNLV.

Photo credit: Howard University Athletics

Yesterday, the Howard University Football Team beat the pants off the University of Nevada — Las Vegas Running Rebels. Okay, a 43–40 victory may be considered nominal, but given that Howard was a 45-point underdog at UNLV in what ESPN has dubbed “the largest point-spread upset in college football history,” this a win for the ages. And, indeed, it is a win for HBCUs everywhere!

Y’all, we need to seriously relish this moment of #MissionPossible. And today, every member of HBCU culture everywhere can be at the very least an honorary Bison. We need to be wearing our institutional t-shirts as well as those of other HBCUs too — and I’m not talking about just when running out to the grocery store on the weekends.

We need to stop seeing every other HBCU as a rival and start seeing each other as allies and family — even if we’re not always friends. I can wear the gear of my alma maters, Fisk and Tennessee State universities, as proudly as I wear Kentucky State University, and as gladly as I wear the gear of any HBCU, anywhere.

We’ve had opportunities like this before, but they are too few and far between. The most recent was with the release of the Girls Trip, and before that was the movie Hidden Figures.

Hidden Figures, for example, was arguably the single best case for black college relevance in a long, long time. Black Greek-Lettered sororities and fraternities, led by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., led the charge with the challenge to BGLO members to wear their organizational paraphernalia. But HBCUs, especially West Virginia State University, dropped the proverbial ball. West Virginia State University should have led another challenge—a challenge of all HBCU graduates and supporters to proudly don their school colors en masse to theatres in support of the film.

Physicist and mathematician Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson—a West Virginia State University alumna—turned 99 on Aug. 26, might just as well have gone to the moon herself because the distance from the segregated foot hills of West Virginia to hand-calculating the the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space may have been further, having required just as much, if not more sheer will and undeniable genius.

So, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: the fate of all HBCUs is inextricably linked. While we tend to rise and we fall together, the latter is more easily achieved than the former. HBCUs cannot afford to be less unapologetically black than black cultural centers on traditionally, predominantly white college campuses.

There will be other wins. To be clear, the Bison’s season opener win against UNLV followed other spirited wins for the culture including Tennessee State’s upset over Georgia State (17–10) and Albany State beating Valdosta State (29–12), just this weekend alone.

Today, let us all be Howard U. The Capstone. The Mecca. The mission is indeed, possible. It is all of us. Weoutchea winning, and we gotta know it.


  1. Hello Crystal,
    I truly enjoyed your enthusiasm about Howard University (HU) reaching the pinnacle this past weekend at least in college football by besting UNLV. Most people don’t know it but Randall Cunningham, QB for Philadelphia for many years and Charles Mann, a defensive stalwart of the Washington Redskins, twice Superbowl champs are both UNLV graduates. but Howard is superlative in many other ways as I am sure you know. HU is the HBCU where my wife received her MS, my older daughter received her MS and Ph.D, my younger daughter received her BS, and Ph.D., my sister in law received her Ph.D., my deceased brother in law received his BS and MS and my son in law is currently Prof. of Computer Science and a member of the HU Board of Trustees. My only claim and connection to HU is that in the past, I have served on the Ph.D defense examinining committee of about a dozen Ph.D candidates, ultimately recipients, in the Graduate Physiology Department, expertise, neurophysiology.

    Be that as it may, I am the ONLY the proud holder of the BS and MA degrees in Biology and Zoology respectively from the Mighty TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY, Ph.D. from Georgetown University. I am most proud however of my two degrees from TSU in 1957 and 1960 respectively. Oh and in addition I am the middle (5th in birth order) of nine Kinnard siblings from Franklin Tennessee, all of whom earned at least a bachelors degree from TSU and five who subsequently earned masters degrees there making an aggregate of fourteen degrees. I am a lifetime financial alumnus of TSU as are most of my siblings.
    Which degree did you receive from TSU and in what year? I would like to become more acquainted with anyone who graduated from TSU and is proud of their accomplishments. I currently reside in Maryland, Suburban, Washington, D.C. and my landline tel. # is 301-454-0111 and my CP is 301-651-3998. Feel free to contact me on either number as I am retired or you may text me on my cell phone. PEACE, PROSPERITY and SUCCESS.