31. Marching along side The Jewels of Distinction in the grand ole TSU Homecoming parade: October 2017

Young African-American girls in red sequin leotards and some in red t-shirts stand or sit in various positions on stairs, sidewalk, and lawn in front of small red brick church with white painted wood trim. In the center of the photograph is a large figure splitting the image in two: a sideview of a right-facing girl in red sequin leotard with long red sleeves. She fills the frame from top of her forehead to middle of her thighs. She has long black hair in a top-knot with a thick, flowing ponytail descending to middle of her back. She wears a red sequin headband, white glitter eyeshadow, and bright red lipstick with lips slightly open as if about to speak or sing. Her shoulders are pushed back and her rib cage protruding forward. She holds red pom-poms at her hips. In the background to the right a similarly dressed young girl leans over an open, red duffle bag on a sidewalk while a girl in red t-shirt stands on green church lawn and another girl in red t-shirt and jeans sits on church stairs. In the background to the left two little girls in red t-shirts and black leggings walk arm in arm toward another little girl in red sequin leotard who holds two pom-poms above her head. Behind her a teen girl in red sequin leotard stands with white-gloved hands in the air near her hips.

Nashville’s Tennessee State University Homecoming Parade in October is one of America’s grand old parades and a signal of autumn’s arrival in the Southern city.

Featuring competitive high school bands from across the nation, homemade floats, and local dance and cheer troupes, thousands line the historic Jefferson Street route to the parade’s conclusion at the gates of TSU.

In October 2017 we followed Nashville’s Jewels of Distinction dance troupe from their staging area on a local church lawn to the end of the parade.


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