A pair of women proudly display their signs in support of HBCUs, Stacey Abrams and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Kiss 104.1 FM morning show host Frank Ski asked the people gathered inside the Gateway Center Arena where the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) graduates were at? The crowd exploded in cheers and shouts. There were definitely a strong number of HBCU graduates, parents and grandparents in the arena Friday night.

Abrams and Warnock on stage at Gateway Center Arena Friday, October 28, 2022. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

With just over a week and with one final weekend to go in early voting, could Stacey Abrams’ and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock’s association with their respective HBCUs, Spelman College and Morehouse College, be an added bonus this election season? 

Both candidates have campaigned on both campuses located in the heart of Atlanta. The student bodies at both schools have held rallies in their support of both Abrams and Warnock as well. Is it working? “Yes, it’s working,” said Reverend Dr. Brenda Perry Wallace, who was in attendance with her sister Aletha Richardson. Wallace was dressed in pink and green AKA attire. “I’m going to send an email to all of my fellow Bethune Cookman [University] alumni tonight,” Wallace said.

Abrams and Warnock embrace during a rally at Gateway Center Arena Friday night in College Park, Ga. Photo by Julia Beverly/The Atlanta Voice

Wallace, an adjunct professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), came in support of both Abrams and Warnock. She and her sister waved signs with both candidates on them and “HBCUs” in bold red letters prominently displayed at the top. 

It’s not a surprise, HBCUs are a source of pride for Black people all over the world, but in Atlanta, the only place in the United States with a multitude of HBCUs in a single city, it’s about more than just collegiate pride. Throughout the crowd there were Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University and Morehouse College sweaters and t-shirts on display.

Much more says Wallace. “Guess what, they try to put us down thinking that their white universities are better for our kids, but I told my daughter that my money is going to an HBCU.”

Wallace’s daughter, Kimberly Wallace, a graduate of Albany State University, wasn’t in attendance Friday night but she did vote early, according to her mother. 

During Warnock’s appearance he asked the crowd how many “Morehouse men were in the house?”

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...