ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Blue Classic is happening this weekend in Orlando. Saturday’s football game showcases two historically black colleges, Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman. It is one of the largest annual HBCU football games, but that FAMU - BCU matchup is just a piece of what the weekend entails for those involved.

  • FAMU faces Bethune-Cookman Saturday at Camping World Stadium
  • One of the largest annual HBCU football games

Interim dean FAMU Law, LeRoy Pernell, said, “When you have that type of rivalry there is also a level of cooperation between the two institutions. There are a lot of ways we collaborate in opportunities for students and opportunities for advancement for both institutions.”

Thousands are in Orlando for the Florida Blue Classic weekend of events like the battle of the bands featuring the university performers and high school bands. 

Bethune-Cookman fan Angelo Harrell attended the event at the Amway Center Friday night. 

“The greatest time of the year, BCU and FAMU. That’s a battle you wouldn’t believe,” he said. 

Friday, FAMU College of Law hosted its first Legacy Awards and Scholarship Gala celebrating students serving their communities and honoring alumni who advocate for justice.

Civil rights attorney John Due Jr. was one of those honored. 

“I saw myself not as just a civil rights lawyer, that is just a means to achieve that end. Freedom, as my wife always said, freedom is to become the best you can become, all you can be, and that was what I felt my mission was at Florida A&M,” Due said. 

Last year more than 45-thousand fans attended the game at Camping World Stadium. According to Pernell, the weekend brings at least a million dollars in business to the Orlando community.

“Hopefully people will understand how vital and vibrant historical black colleges and universities still are in America and these are two of the greatest,” Pernell said.