Floyd Cook, Jr. | First Black Drum Major for Muskegon Heights, Honored With Statue

Photo Restored by the Vintage Twirler

The City of Muskegon Michigan will honor Floyd Cook, Jr. with a public art display. Cook became Muskegon Heights High School’s first Black drum major in 1958.

According to the City of Muskegon, the project, “Band Together,” includes a 12-foot-tall, full-color bronze sculpture of Cook in uniform. Standing tall on a 36-inch pedestal, the sculpture will be a tribute to the Muskegon Heights High School Marching Band. The band honed its style of marching from historically Black colleges over the decades.

The City will install the sculpture in October 2023. The sketch below is an artist’s rendering of the statue.

“No town can embrace a renaissance…without having public art at its core,” said Muskegon City Manager Troy Bell. “As part of the Rowan Park Strand Facility Development, ‘Band Together’ is a great example of great public art that can bring our community together…”

“I know that was you, God…”

“Over the years I’ve taken great pride in having been the first Black MHHS Drum Major,” Cook wrote. “…This was only the beginning of a number of first’s that God would prepare me for…”

Cook continued his interest in music after high school and during college. He spent his career as a product design mechanical engineer.

“…God orchestrated it all by providing me with loving parents, kinfolk, a caring and supportive village of mentors,” he wrote. “And a thirst for education, knowledge, wisdom and acheivement…

“Often I just look up, smile and say, ‘I know that was you God, thank you.'”

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