Hundreds of Black students attended the USC Black Alumni Association’s Pinning Ceremony. (Courtesy photo)

The last time that USC Black Alumni Association hosted its traditional Black student pinning ceremony was August 2019.  Since that time USC, like most of the world, had to cancel the in-person event because of the COVID-19 virus, which set the world back for the past 36 months.

“We are delighted to welcome our Black students into the USC Trojan Family. Also, we are honored to be able to include the students who started here at USC in 2020 and 2021 along with the incoming freshman class now that we can host an in person event,” said Danille Harvey, assistant vice president of Alumni Relations and interim executive director of USC Black Alumni Association.

The ceremony was attended by more than 500 students, faculty and family members of the students, who were excited that the young people had the opportunity to participate in one of the hallmark traditions for USC’s Black students.  The event, which included African drummers dressed in traditional attire, also featured a pouring of libations in honor of those ancestors who paved the way for the young Black students to enter into the Trojan family.  The ceremony was lead by Chimbuko Tembo, co-vice chair of the African American Cultural Center, Black Community Clergy and Labor Alliance.

Also on hand was the Honorable Sydney Kamlager-Dove, a California State Senator, U.S. 37th Congressional District candidate and USC alum, whose daughter is an incoming freshman at the university.

“While African Americans remain small in numbers among the ranks of students, faculty and administration, we are neither invisible nor immune from the need to support our own. The African American Student Pinning Ceremony is an important welcome for Black students to the USC campus and culture,” said Kamlager-Dove.

“The event is a welcome embrace that says, ‘we see you.’ As an alum and now a parent of a USC student, I was proud to attend to see so many beautiful Black faces and to know that there is a strong support system for our Black leaders of tomorrow.”