Texas Southern University’s debate team to perform during virtual inauguration event Tuesday

HOUSTON – The Texas Southern University debate team will be among several groups from historically black colleges participating in a virtual inauguration Tuesday.

The university shared the news on Twitter and Facebook.

“We are honored to announce that Texas Southern University’s Debate Team is one of the select groups to virtually participate in the historic inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris,” the university said on social media.

The event called “We Are One” will honor Kamala Harris’ historic win as the first Black and South Asian woman to be U.S. vice president.

Alongside notable African-American leaders, politicians and performers, TSU debate team’s President Nahab Fahnbulleh, Maya Williams, Gloria Ekezie, Trevor Mouton performed a recorded reader theatre performance of “Democracy Prevails,” the piece they wrote and created with TSU Debate Team Coach Dr. Gloria Batiste-Roberts.

“To have the opportunity to participate in such a historic event makes us all TSU Debate Team proud,” Dr. Batiste-Roberts said. “It is also a heartwarming memorial to our founder Dr. Thomas F. Freeman, who joined the ancestors on June 6, 2020. Our students had a tough year, so it is a message that the future is bright, and trouble does not last always.”

“I recognize the significance of it and my role. I’m not only representing myself, but my team, Texas Southern University, and all HBCUs. I am a testament to what HBCUs have produced and what they continue to produce,” Fahnbulleh said. “I know we have made our team’s founder, the late great Dr. Thomas F. Freeman, proud and he would commend us on our creativity and hard work. We created a script along with our head coach Dr. Gloria Batiste-Roberts to really allude to and pinpoint the point in America that we’re at right now.”

In a fiery and energetic theatrical performance, the students congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice president-Elect Kamala Harris, acknowledging their journeys to the White House and stating what this moment of history means to them and American, specifically minority communities.

“All our pleas and all of our pains and all of our feelings that we’ve had, they’re finally being heard,” Fahnbulleh said. “We’re finally coming together as a nation, and I think we’re moving in a positive step.”

TSU took to social media to show their pride.

“We are filled with pride and anticipation to see the Texas Southern University Debate Team in the national spotlight for this historic moment. It is truly an honor for our students, under the leadership of Dr. Gloria Batiste-Roberts, to be selected based on their outstanding achievements and embodiment of HBCU excellence and pride that are recognized throughout the world,” said TSU Interim President Kenneth Huewitt. “We know the spirit of the late Dr. Thomas Freeman will be demonstrated throughout their original piece that was created for the Inauguration. I’d like to thank the Biden Harris Inaugural Committee, led by Dr. Tony Allen, for the prestigious invitation to TSU.”

“It was awe-inspiring to see someone that looked like me, so see someone that has similar lineage to me to just be up in such a high position,” Fahnbulleh said.


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