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Stephen A. Smith and the First Take crew will be showing love to HBCUs once again. 

The ESPN morning show is one of the most popular sports talk shows in history, and they recently announced that they will travel to Canton, Ohio, for the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic weekend.

This year’s Black College Football Hall of Fall Game, set to take place during Labor Day weekend, will likely be extra special to Smith as an HBCU grad because the game will feature his alma mater Winston-Salem State University against Central State University. 

The show will air on Friday, September 2, during its normal time from 10:00 AM EST – 12:00 PM EST. First Take, and ESPN have been diligent in highlighting HBCUs over recent years. This is just the latest example of the show using its reach to uplift these historic institutions. 

“This appearance by First Take has been a longtime in the making,” said Smith. “As a graduate from an HBCU — Winston-Salem State University — there are no limits to the level of appreciation I have for Black Colleges throughout this nation. And there’s nothing that highlights the allure of Black Colleges more than football. From the marching bands to the games themselves, Black college football illuminates the Black college experience in ways that nothing else does. First Take is honored to play a role in bringing that message to its national television audience. We can’t wait to get there! See ya in Canton!”

Founded by NFL and HBCU legends Doug Williams and James Harris, the Black College Football Hall of Fame has done a stellar job of keeping the history of HBCU football alive. Williams will also be a special guest on First Take during the show’s stop in Canton. 

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Black College Football Hall of Fame are honored to host the First Take team in conjunction with this year’s Classic,” said  Adrian Allison, Chief Relationship Officer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Stephen A. Smith brings a fun, spirited energy to the show every day, but there will be a special level of excitement throughout this broadcast with his alma mater in Canton. We encourage fans of the show and fans of college football to be part of this great atmosphere.”

HBCUs are amid a renaissance and receiving more attention now than they have in decades. Shows and personalities like First Take Smith should continue to elevate the notoriety of these historic institutions and build on this momentum.