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Livingstone College News Service
On a snowy day in 1892, Livingstone College and the former Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University) squared off on Livingstone’s front lawn for the first black college football game.
The Golden Bulls won the contest 5-0, but next Saturday, the Blue Bears hope to exact revenge.
Of course, revenge is one thing, but you can’t commemorate such a historic game without lining up some activities to go along with it. Livingstone and Johnson C. Smith officials have done just that.
Among the weekend’s highlights will be the Commemorative Classic Horse & Carriage Trophy Procession, which begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday on Price Drive on Livingstone’s campus and is free and open to the public. With the horse-drawn carriage, organizers hope to recreate the mood of that historic day while protecting the trophy that will be awarded to the winning team at game’s end. Livingstone College’s marching band will lead the procession, and one student from each school will ride in the carriage protecting the coveted trophy.
The Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame Teams Dinner is Friday, with keynote speaker Donnie Shell, an NFL Hall of Famer who won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a member of its famous “Steel Curtain.” The event, from 6 to 9 p.m., is being held in Grimes Lounge on Smith’s campus, 100 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by calling 704-957-3092.
Dr. Darren J. Hamilton, athletic director at Livingstone College, said he hopes the public will take advantage of the activities lined up for the Commemorative Classic, a game of great significance.
“I think it’s a testament to what Salisbury has in its own backyard, and I think everybody ought to capitalize on it, join hands and make sure that it’s an everlasting event for North Carolina,” Hamilton said.
Many former Blue Bears and Golden Bulls players, as well as alumni from both schools, are expected to attend the game, which begins at 1 p.m. inside Alumni Memorial Stadium at Livingstone. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students with valid IDs. Children 6 and younger are admitted free.
Adult tickets only may be purchased online at www.eztixx.com.
Student tickets must be purchased in person at the cashiers’ offices at Livingstone College and Johnson C. Smith University.
Other Commemorative Classic events are:
– A reading/book signing by Michael Hurd, author of “Black College Football: 100 Years,” Friday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Events & Hospitality Center at Livingstone College. Free and open to the public.
– Commemorative Classic Tribute at Historic 1st Game Marker: Saturday, from 10 to 11 a.m. on the front lawn of Price Hall at Livingstone College. Free and open to the public.
– Commemorative Classic Lawn Festival, complete with live entertainment: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. (before and after the game) on the front lawn of Livingstone College. Free and open to the public.

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