Hillside High Homecoming brings community together

By Aaron Saunders
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

Every year, in the middle of October, Hillside High School’s past and present come together for a meeting like no other.

Homecoming in the African American community is the biggest school event of the year. It’s a time for old friends to catch up and for new friendships to be forged.

Hillside High School’s band electrifies the crowd at Friday night’s homecoming game. (Staff photo by David Fitts)

“Homecoming brings pride, revenue, and unity to the community and the city of Durham,” said Sam Powell.

Hillside High School, located on Fayetteville Street in Durham, hosted its homecoming this past weekend, highlighted by its Friday football game against Durham rival Jordan High School.

In front of a standing room only crowd, the Hornets won 34-14 and improved to 8-0 on the season.

“It’s always great to watch quality football and have your team win,” said Alisha Mason.

Homecoming, however, is more than just the football game. During homecoming’s spirit week students dress-up differently each day or represent your class by sporting the class colors.

The school also has dances and pep rallies. Homecoming would not be complete without considering the court which is voted on by the student body and showcased at the big game.

Food also plays a big role in how well the event goes. This year’s event featured Carolina barbecue.

Hillside, which opened in 1887, is the oldest historically black high school still open in North Carolina. The school’s original name was James A. Whitted High School. It was named after its first principal.

“Our school has a really good tradition in the community and we are proud of that,” said Shavon Morgan.

Events lasted throughout the weekend as the hornet cabaret took place on Saturday. The caberet is a reception and dance as well as a Hall of Fame induction for former students of Hillside and their families. The event is sponsored by the National Alumni Association of Hillside.

On Sunday, a parade filled with middle school bands, dance troupes, and Hillside’s very own band electrified the crowd as they marched down the street.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for graduates to come back and see the progress that the school has made,” said Daryl Smith.

“It was really fun coming back and seeing all the people I have not seen in four or five years,” said Mason.