Orange Blossom Classic Black History Month Spotlight
Black History Month comes to a close Feb. 29, so there is still time to spotlight the great achievements and moments that are key to the South Florida black community. The excitement leading up to the Orange Blossom Classic taking place Sept. 6 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens is building up. The big day will feature a Gridiron Showdown between Florida A&M University & Albany State University. The historic football classic was re-established by the City of Miami Gardens after a 41-year hiatus.
The Orange Blossom Classic promises to engage alumni, students, families, and fans while empowering the youth through official events and community initiatives designed to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges & Universities within the enriched community of Miami Gardens.
“The homecoming of the Orange Blossom Classic aligns with the transformation of Miami Gardens into so much more than a city. We are a community. It’s not just football. It’s the revival of an untamed legacy,” said Mayor Oliver Gilbert of Miami Gardens.
Here are a few facts about the Orange Blossom Classic:
1. The Orange Blossom Classic was founded by J.R.E. Lee Jr., a business administrator and the son of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) president in 1933.The classic was started as FAMU’s postseason invitational game in 1933 before becoming an annual event in Miami in 1947.
2. The inaugural Orange Blossom Classic was played in front of 2,000 fans at a “blacks-only” ballpark in Jacksonville, Fla., in which FAMU beat Howard 9-0.
3. For 46 years, from 1933 -1978, the Orange Blossom Classic was the must-see game of the postseason that helped establish the foundation of HBCU football classics.
4. The Orange Blossom Classic was unofficially referred to as the “Black National Championship” game during its reign.
5. For 30 years, the Orange Blossom Classic football game in Miami was the most important annual sporting event and the largest annual gathering of any kind for African Americans. Read More.