Alcorn State University just made history by naming a woman as the head drum major for the historical Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite (S.O.D.) band for the first time.
On April 27, Mar'Kaja Ramirez announced her unprecedented achievement at the school on social media and has been flooded with support.
The Mississippi college student wrote, "I am proud to say that I am the next Head Drum Major and the FIRST FEMALE head drum major here at Alcorn State University!"
Ramirez says that this was always dream of hers. She told Blavity, "I first joined the band [during] the fall semester of 2016, and I played the cymbals." She later added, "Yes, this has always been a dream of mine since I was in middle school. I have been keeping up with S.O.D. and the F4 drum majors since I was a kid."
Ramirez, who is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority via the Gamma Phi Chapter, thanked her previous co-drum majors and promised to continue making her supporters and her college proud.
"This is such [an] honor and I can’t even put into words how I feel, but just know it’s only up from here," she added.
Ramirez also hopes that she can use her position to leave a legacy for younger women looking to be S.O.D. head drum majors. She told Blavity, "I want to be able to give strength to all the girls who have self-doubt about doing something male-dominated. We can be just as good, if not better. I want people to look back at my accomplishment and feel empowered."
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I am proud to say that I am the next Head Drum Major and the FIRST FEMALE head drum major here at Alcorn State University! I want to thank everyone who supports me including all my family and my friends. If you know me, then you that this has been a long time coming for me and a lifelong dream ????. I want to thank all the female drum majors before me because y’all made this possible for me. Special shout out to my previous squad @who_me_zulu @_brother_darkkness @_dionnew @officialjtv_ For always believing in me and pushing me to be the best i can be! I love y’all so much and i will forever hold our squad close to my heart. I will take this position seriously and make sure that F4 and SOD are always at their best. This is such and honor and i can’t even put into words how i feel but just know it’s only up from here ????????. -Short Stuff
The drum major who goes by "Short Stuff" will be leading the famous Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite band, founded in 1966 by late Director Samuel Griffin, according to HBCUBuzz. Griffin is credited with forming and establishing the new wave of "show-style" that catapulted the musicians, the dance line (Golden Girls) and the flaggers (Purple Flashers Flag Corp) to the forefront.
The band, comprised of over 190 members, was the first to perform in New Orleans' Superdome and participated in the 1977 ceremonial parade to welcome President Jimmy Carter to office. As global performers, the drumline was also among the inspirations for the popular 2002 movie Drumline.
Markaja Ramirez, Gamma Phi Chapter member, is the first female head drum major of the mighty “Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite” Marching Band at Alcorn State University. ASU, is the first African-American land grant college established in the United States. #HBCU4Life
— Xi Omega AKA (@akaxo) April 28, 2019
I am proud to say that I am the next Head Drum Major and the FIRST FEMALE head drum major here at Alcorn State University! I am proud to be apart of such an amazing legacy and i won’t let SOD down. It’s only up from here ???? pic.twitter.com/LlIjKHcWtO
— Huncho Kam ???? (@King__Kaja) April 28, 2019
The acclaimed band is currently under the supervision of Director Renaldo Murray.
The news is in line with a growing trend. Last year, Blavity reported Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) named Cori Bostic its first female drum major in the school's history, as well.
We're not saying that Beyoncé had anything to do with this, but that HBCU female empowerment is obviously in formation and ready to let loose.
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