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A few weeks ago I met friends to see Savannah State University and Bethune Cookman University play a football game in Daytona Beach.

Both schools are HBCUs – historically black colleges and universities – and the half-time marching band performance was what I really looked forward to at the game. I love seeing HBCU marching bands.

The BCU band took the field and gave a great show. Then their announcer said the next song was dedicated to a Savannah State band member who had died the previous month. The BCU band played “Pass Me Not, O’ Gentle Savior” to honor her and offer their condolences to the SSU band, whose members stood on the sidelines watching the performance. SSU band members took off their hats as BCU played.

It was moving and I still remember that song more than any other they played on the field. I needed to hear it that Saturday afternoon, sitting with my family and friends at the game. And in the past few weeks it has been a comfort to me still.

I love the high-stepping moves and powerful sound of HBCU bands. That performance reminded me of their grace.

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