Man, y’all don’t understand how excited I am that The Quad is triumphantly coming back for season 2! I’m excited for several reasons, one being that I love the show and how it actually depicts the beauty of HBCU’s and the problems that we sometimes face. However, the most exciting aspect of this new season is that I’m incredibly invested in the show. At the end of season 1 (March 29th), I was an auspicious fan that wanted BET and The Quad to show love to my HBCU Fort Valley State University. Now, a day before season 2 premieres, I’m a rising HBCU Personality that actually has some deep ties within the show. Those “ties” are what allowed me to achieve the historic feat of bringing three actors from the hit BET show on FVSU’s campus!
Let’s backtrack for a second and and show you were we are, how we got where we are and what we can expect from Georgia A&M University this season!
1) Successfully bringing the actors from “The Quad” to Fort Valley State University’s Campus
Now, this was no easy feat. It took ten months for me to finally pull it off but I made it happen with the assistant of my guy, fellow FVSU student and football extra on The Quad Justin Scott! If you missed it, I made my first connect with Jake Allyn who plays BoJohn Folsom on the show. I was determined to make this connection happen after seeing a realistic school commercial promoting “Georgia A&M University”.
I was impressed! I knew then and there that BET was going to be serious in their promotion of the show, as they were relying on marketing tactics previously unheard of. I watched the commercial over and over again. I knew then and there that I had to use my position as a student leader at FVSU to make something happen and bring The Quad on campus. At the very least, a shoutout. Could we get some love?!
I immediately started hitting up all the prominent actors that I could find. I even went as far as to contact Rob Hardy, FAMU Alumnus and show creator, to make something work. Eventually, I was able to get in contact with Jake. My initial contact with Jake was to do an interview about the show. We ended up doing two, one on Urban Intellectuals that was a hit on Google and one on my The Randall Barnes Experience Radio Show. I didn’t think it would be anything more than me doing an interview until we talked on the phone.
Jake, before and even during the interview, promised me that he’d make a visit down to FVSU at some point. Admittedly, we tried to get it to happen the first part of 2017 but things didn’t quite work out. Scheduling conflicts prevented us if anything. We stayed in contact and were determined to make something happen!
I hosted a watch party for The Quad on January 31st, 2017. That’s when I first got a chance to meet Justin Scott. Justin’s name was brought up when I first started doing my preliminary promotion of The Quad (I had a catchy hashtag “#GAMUvsFVSU”). I told him about my vision of bringing a couple of members from the cast down to FVSU and he was on board 100% from the first time I talked to him. Justin was in the perfect position to make something happen. He actually had a role on the show as a football extra where he actually got prominent air time on the show.
In September 2017 Justin stopped me as I was walking into this building we call the “Old Student Center” on campus and let me know that he’d been talking to both Jake and Morehouse Alumnus Miles Stroter (“Junior”) about making an appearance on campus and that I’d needed to hit them up ASAP while they were still in Georgia. At that point I was sort of discouraged. I felt as if we wouldn’t be able to make it happen, especially with them getting into the swing of filming the second season. I still hit Jake up. One afternoon, he gave me the greenlight that a date in October would work. Thursday October 19th is when we made history happen!
We were able to not only get Jake Allyn to make an appearance but Miles and Sergio Joachim (“Tavarius”, also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi) to come through as well. When I saw them walking to the cafe with Radio Hall-of-Famer and iHeartMedia Personality (V101.7) Ms. Shirly Ellis, fresh off of an interview on Tex James Radio (97.9 WIBB) I was literally in awe. We did it!
What ensued later was a whole bunch of dancing, games, HBCU back-and-forths (Miles graduated from Morehouse and FVSU was playing Morehouse for Homecoming) and pictures. A whole bunch of pictures! Their appearance at Jamming In The Cafe, a weekly event in our campus cafeteria where mass communications majors host and DJ while also inviting celebrity guest and musical artists, was one for the history books!
Afterwards, we took them on a brief tour of our quad (historic quadrangle). They saw the Lyons Student Center (the Old Student Center) that ironically symbolized so much now that they were on campus with us. We then took them to the Pettigrew Center, where we had a screening of their favorite episode of The Quad (season 1, episode 9 “#TheirEyesWereWatchingGod”). They then did a question and answer session with the Joseph Adkins Players, a acting troupe on campus led by Southern University alumnae Dr. Marisa Akbar.
The fact that we were able to make this happen shows the importance and persistence of believing in yourself no matter what the circumstances. I’m blessed to have met the brothers of The Quad. They’re down to earth and not hung up on their star power to show love to the people that support them. I also networked with them and we plan to do some major things in the not so distant future. Stay tuned!
2) What To Expect In Season 2
Season 1 ended with a major cliffhanger. Alleged rapist and former starting Quarterback for the GAMU Mountaincats Terence Berry committed suicide in the last couple of minutes of the season finale. I wholeheartedly believe that will play a huge role in the season, especially the first two episodes. Will Sydney now feel vindicated? Dr. Fletcher probably isn’t overcome with grief but, since she’s the university president, this is something that she has to deal with. Also, how will the football team be affected? Will BoJohn finally have his time to shine? Will that time to shine be led by his abusive father’s ambitions to get him into a Division I school? This season is gonna be crazy!
There’s so many things that hint to what’s about to go on. What’s gonna make my reviews and previews of this season worthwhile is that I’m legit a detective. Yup, I will find out what’s gonna happen and call it like I see it before it does! So, I did some detective work on season 2 and I found a couple of episode synopsis!
Episode 1: InLoveAndTrouble
After winter break, Eva is hit with the news that Terrence Berry’s family is demanding a public apology; Cedric has his first brush with student activism; Cecil Diamond discovers Noni’s betrayal.
Mind you, this is the first episode and it’s already gonna be lit! Dr. Fletcher might have to apologize to the family of Terrence Berry? Anika Noni Rose is gonna go for an Oscar tonight for sure! Then, Cecil Diamond found out about Noni’s betrayal. I pray for Noni man. She’s about to go through it for sure!
Let’s not forget the sneak peek trailer that came out! It looks like someone is crossing the “burning sands” and that person looks to be Bryce. It’s going to be interesting seeing that portrayed, seeing that both series creator Felicia D. Henderson (Delta Sigma Theta) and executive producer Rob Hardy (Alpha Phi Alpha) are both Greek and Rob made Stomp The Yard. We really might be in for something that pushes convention or makes all the black greeks mad and gets The Quad a bigger backlash than last season when a few of the HBCU presidents were against it (see: Netflix’s Burning Sands). We’re gonna see through!
All and all, I look forward to seeing what The Quad is coming with tonight! I expect nothing but greatness from the show. It’s giving us all life out here and providing opportunities for young actors and HBCU performers/personalities like me!