Jackson State University selected to perform at Superbowl XLVIII (58)


Jackson State University (JSU) stands as a beacon of academic achievement and cultural significance within the landscape of higher education in the United States. Founded in 1877 in Jackson, Mississippi, this historically black university has a rich history deeply intertwined with the African American struggle for equality and education.

Historical Background

The origins of Jackson State University trace back to its establishment as Natchez Seminary in 1877. Initially founded to educate newly freed slaves, the institution evolved over the decades, undergoing several name changes and expansions. In 1940, it became Jackson College and, in 1974, acquired its current designation as Jackson State University.

Throughout its history, JSU has remained committed to providing accessible and quality education to African American students, fostering a nurturing environment that celebrates diversity and promotes academic excellence. From its humble beginnings, the university has grown into a prominent institution known for its strong academic programs and vibrant campus life.

Academic Excellence

Jackson State University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs across various disciplines, including business, education, engineering, health sciences, and the arts. With a dedicated faculty comprised of renowned scholars and industry experts, JSU provides students with rigorous academic training, hands-on learning experiences, and opportunities for research and innovation.  

The university’s commitment to academic excellence is evidenced by its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and numerous accolades received by its faculty and students. JSU consistently ranks among the top universities in the nation for producing African American graduates in STEM fields, business, and other disciplines, reflecting its dedication to empowering minority communities through education.

Cultural Significance

Beyond its academic achievements, Jackson State University holds a special place in the cultural landscape of Mississippi and the broader African American community. The university’s marching band, known as the Sonic Boom of the South, is renowned for its electrifying performances and dynamic choreography, captivating audiences with its precision and showmanship.

In 2023, Jackson State University made history when the Sonic Boom of the South was selected to perform at the halftime show of the Super Bowl, the pinnacle of American football entertainment. This unprecedented honor not only showcased the talent and artistry of JSU’s marching band but also highlighted the university’s cultural significance on a national stage.

The selection of the Sonic Boom of the South for the Super Bowl halftime performance underscored the enduring legacy of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in shaping American music, culture, and entertainment. It served as a testament to the extraordinary talent and creativity found within these institutions and celebrated the contributions of African Americans to the rich tapestry of American heritage.


Jackson State University stands as a testament to the resilience, ingenuity, and cultural vitality of the African American community. From its humble beginnings as a seminary for freed slaves to its current status as a leading institution of higher learning, JSU continues to uphold its mission of academic excellence, social responsibility, and cultural enrichment.

Through its commitment to empowering students, fostering diversity, and promoting innovation, Jackson State University remains a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come. As the legacy of the Sonic Boom of the South echoes across the nation’s stadiums and arenas, JSU’s impact on American culture and society continues to reverberate, reminding us of the enduring power of education and the pursuit of excellence.


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