Rolling Out

How Kendra Bulluck-Major revived the historic Orange Blossom Classic

The executive director wanted to bring back the history and excitement surrounding the football game

Kendra Bulluck-Major’s destiny was already shown to her as a kid, but she didn’t notice. As someone who grew up in a family that attended HBCUs and went to football classics, when she moved to Florida, she realized that they didn’t have that same football energy, and most notably, they didn’t have the Orange Blossom Classic that became popular in Miami from the late 1930s until the late 1970s.

After hearing about the excitement of the OBC, Bulluck-Major decided that it would be a good idea to revive the game and give the kids in the community an HBCU experience. Bulluck-Major, the executive director of OBC, spoke with rolling out about the game, being an executive, and her superpower.

What did the process look like for bringing back the OBC?

It was a lot of work, starting with the research. I was in a business that I had never really been a part of and I never really set out to be a person in sports, I just wanted to experience that culture. The process basically started with reaching out to the different schools, doing some research as far as the feasibility of what it would be to actually bring it back, and having conversations with a lot of our community leaders and community stakeholders to see what kind of support we could gain from the community. It took a little over 10 years to happen, but we finally got all the key people and the right people in the right place, and we made it happen.

What is your vision as an executive?

To leave a legacy, and first and foremost a legacy for my family. I’m a mother of two boys, so you want to leave a legacy. Something like the Orange Blossom Classic and all the other entities, for me, it’s important that all of those things extend well beyond me so I don’t have to be the executive director of the Orange Blossom Classic forever, but I would want to see the Orange Blossom Classic continue. If anything, it is important to leave a legacy, it is important to be able to say this is something that I started but I can look at other people and say now you have an opportunity to gain success from this. One of my favorite scriptures and favorite quotes is that you’re known by your fruit, so as long as I am able to see the fruit, then I know that I’ve done my job and my work and that’s my legacy.

What would you say to those women who feel like they don’t deserve to be in certain roles or positions?

Impostor syndrome is real. Sometimes, you get so caught up in doing the work that you never really take the time to celebrate the work. When you hear other people say, “You did this,” you’re asking, “Did I?” because you haven’t taken the time to embrace it and enjoy it. They get to see the cake when it’s finished; you’re looking at it when it’s still in the mixing bowl. That’s why impostor syndrome is so real. I would say to those women enjoy the journey, don’t get so focused and so caught up on what the end result is, and you just have to wake up every day feeling like you deserve to be there. Stay knowledgeable, stay true to your craft, don’t compromise any of your goals or your beliefs, and believe that you have the right to be there.

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