If you attended an HBCU, you are fully aware of what the CIAA means to the culture. It’s like the homecoming of all homecomings- a time where unity and HBCU pride reigns supreme.
Although the tournament has called Charlotte, North Carolina home for the past 15 years, the CIAA is moving up north and Baltimore, Maryland will host next year.
(Courtesy of the CIAA)
Now you know that nothing is ever over until it’s really over which is why the American Legacy Network has curated an interactive mobile exhibit that captures the true essence of the tournament as the network celebrates its 25th year in the business.
While on the ground, we checked out the moving museum and it’s definitely a sight to see as that fans experienced artifacts from the tournament like CIAA legend, Clarence “Big House” Gaines’s jacket, which is on display within the exhibit along with other memorabilia and videos from players and coaches who hold a place in the history of the games.
(CIAA Commissioner, Jacqie McWilliams with a photo of herself when she played in the tournament with Hampton University)
We caught up with Jeff A. Watkins who, along with the American Legacy Network founder, Rodney J. Reynolds, partnered with Toyota to bring the past 75 years of the CIAA history to life. Watkins shares how being on the ground at the Fan Fest really showed “how much the CIAA truck meant to a lot of the people here in Charlotte,” admitting that “some people were in tears.”
“This is an exciting time for CIAA Tournament Basketball… It was great to work with Suzette McQueen and her team at the CIAA to curate this amazing exhibit,” said Reynolds.
The memories don’t stop here! This uniquely curated mobile truck museum will visit the CIAA Conference member schools throughout the month of March to provide students with a look at the tournament’s history and the pioneers who set the stage for what the tournament has become.
This week they stopped by Johnson C. Smith University and Claflin University and the mobile museum will travel to St. Augustine’s on March 12th, Shaw University on March 13th, Virginia State on March 18th, Virginia Union on March 19th and Bowie State on March 22nd.
Stay up to date with The American Legacy Network and future CIAA Mobile Museum stops on Instagram @americanlegacynetwork.
(Courtesy of Rodney J. Reynolds, founder of American Legacy Network)