Featured photo by Carolyn de Berry
If you do a simple Google search such as, “What is GHOE?” You’ll learn that GHOE is NC A&T’s homecoming. If you read a few journalistic articles, you are bound to come across stories and accounts of systemic racism and violence that is unjustly associated with NC A&T’s GHOE. While these stories may be important and true, it’s a tired narrative. Just how Black actors are tired of playing slave roles, I’m sure NC A&T alumni and other Black Americans, like myself, are tired of having a discourse on systemic racism in association with GHOE. So, this article will only discuss the light, joy and celebration that is GHOE.
GHOE is more than an event or homecoming for NC A&T alumni and community members — it is a celebration of modern-day Black American culture. The first ever NC A&T homecoming was held in 1926, and, like many other things in the zeitgeist, it’s nearly impossible to trace back when the term GHOE was first used. Regardless, GHOE is a powerful event filled with celebration and tradition.
GHOE’s magnitude and impact is unimaginable and reaches beyond the Greensboro city limit or state lines. In 2022, GHOE brought more than 40,000 people to Greensboro, which doesn’t include private parties and unofficial events. For perspective NC A&T currently has about 12,000 students enrolled. In 2021, GHOE had an estimated $10 million impact on Greensboro’s local economy.
Given the grandeur of NC A&T’s GHOE, you might find yourself asking what makes GHOE the Greatest Homecoming on Earth? For starters, it’s not just a homecoming, as mentioned before, it is a celebration of modern-day Black American culture.
Sure, there are the homecoming staples like the football game, but there is also a parade, concerts, campus block parties and more. There are events like the Aggie FanFest, a three-day event that begins on the Friday of GHOE weekend. One of the most sought out events during GHOE is the Aggie Homecoming Concert which features some of the biggest names in hip hop. Past performers include, Cardi B, 2 Chainz, Ella Mai, Nicki Minaj and Drake, just to name a few. This year’s performers are Summer Walker, Flo Milli, Coco Jones, Lil Durk and others.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been around since 1837, with the mission to further the education of Black Americans — during the 19th Century Black Americans were denied the right to education. NC A&T is the biggest HBCU in the nation and one of the top North Carolina state schools. Founded in 1891, NC A&T has taught, fostered and developed prominent alumni such as US Rep. Alma Adams, Oscar-winning producer Terrence J, former running back for the Chicago Bears Tarik Cohen and many others.
GHOE is a reunion and visual representation of the many strides Black Americans have made in this country. Going from less than 200 years ago where our great-grand mothers and fathers risked death for trying to learn to read, to Ruby Bridges being the first Black American child to attend a newly integrated school in 1960, to now where NC A&T alumni and other Black Americans are serving in the US Congress. GHOE is a celebration of education, success and liberation. It’s the only place in the world that celebrates all these things on a massive level. Simply put, GHOE helps to place Black excellence on the global stage.
GHOE is not exclusive to alumni — that is the beauty of it. Rather you attended the school, have friends or family who did or you want to be a part of the energy exuded on A&T’s campus, everyone is invited and welcome to celebrate.
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