Sorority Turns Down Black Applicant, Then Turns on Itself

Sorority members allege that alums prevented a vote on a black applicant

  • Share
  • Read Later
OFF / AFP/Getty Images

Alabama's governor George Wallace (L) faces General Henry Graham, in Tuscaloosa, 12 June 1963, at the University of Alabama in which he blocked the enrollment of two African-American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood.

She was the perfect candidate on paper: A 4.3 GPA, salutatorian of her high school class, a daughter of a prominent, civic-minded family. However, not one of the 16 sororities at the University of Alabama accepted her bid for membership, leading one surprised sorority member to ask, “Are we really not going to talk about the black girl?” The question, first reported in the school’s paper, the Crimson White, has reverberated across campus and swung a national spotlight on the school’s enduring struggle with segregation.

The fact that a black candidate was rejected by a historically white sorority in 2013 was not exactly news to the students on campus. One told the New York Times that the school paper published “basically the same story” every year. But what sets this story apart is that the sorority members themselves have exposed the inner workings of the recruitment committees, alleging that while active members gave the candidate high marks, alumni quietly pushed her out of the running.

(MORE: Race in America, 50 Years after the Dream)

Spokespersons for the sorority denied that any decisions were tainted by racial bias. Meanwhile, state Governor. Robert Bentley has weighed in on the controversy, calling for greater integration within the Greek system. Whatever took place in the voting committee that day, odds are they’re talking about it now.

[The Crimson White]

15 comments
Toria
Toria

Why would ANY Black girl want to join a White sorority? There's way more prestige in joining Delta Sigma Theta or Alpha Kappa Alpha, two of the top Black sororities in the country. Members include: Kiesha Knight Pulliam; Ruby Dee Davis; Nancy Wilson; Soledad O'Brien; Aretha Franklin; Cicely Tyson; Natalie Cole; Wanda Sykes; Star Jones; and, Roberta Flack. What famous person belongs to the sororities that turned her down?  

Davida
Davida

perhaps it would

jpowers55
jpowers55

Would this be an issue if a white person, say a white female, had been rejected from a black Greek organization?

CarolynGloucesterValentine
CarolynGloucesterValentine

interesting. her age group accepted her and the old heads did not. ok. not news, but, glad to see the other girls want to talk about the black girl. any progress is still progress.

rahulduong
rahulduong

If people were serious about taking the Greek System to task, then the only way that they would listen is if simultaneously they become irrelevant to the social fabric.  In a university like UA, the way to accomplish this, is to have all of the members of the Sorority or Fraternity resign.  I know this is draconian, and abrupt.  However, if members are saying they support the pledge, they are indirectly saying they do not support the Sorority or Fraternity.  

I am sure that the local Chapter President of the Sorority or Fraternity would love to explain why the university chapter all of a sudden has zero (0) members to the National Organization !!!.  

In University you are taught to stand up, follow your way, and develop into an adult.  One of the lessons about being an adult is putting your money where your mouth is.  

Openminded1
Openminded1

It appears the girls in the sorority wanted this young lady , but the old racist alumni was the problem. In this case the ACLU and NAACP should step in and the GOV office needs to sanction the schools and it alumni.

bluolive
bluolive

Personally, I wouldn't want to be in a social organization that wouldn't have me.  But then,  my neighborhood  Cub Scouts DID  accept me, and I left that after the first meeting, when I realized we'd all be wearing the same outfits and doing stuff in lock-step.   No matter the spin anyone wants to put on them, sororities  are  uncool and pompous; cliques for people afraid to be individuals.    

mtanner911
mtanner911

@Toria Without a doubt!  What really matters are famous people..   Geez...

AnthonyMarcHeyward
AnthonyMarcHeyward

@jpowers55 When that happens, we'll find out. So far though it has not. Blacks tend to be much more accepting based on our history of being rejected. Just a fact, carry on.

seymourglass26
seymourglass26

@jpowers55 Is that even a serious question? If the Greek members agreed that objectively she was a good fit, but racist alums pushed her to the side, do you think the media wouldn't care? They'd crucify the leadership for being bigots. Please name a single precedent to show me otherwise, or else I'll just have to consider you an ignorant apologist with no sense of the real world. Do you think that at Alabama, life isn't easier for whites? Maybe if you only live on your computer.

Toria
Toria

@bluolive Sounds like you have issues over what happened. Time to grow up and get over it.