Stepping Through the Ages

Thursday, February 20th at John Carroll University, SUPB and African American Alliance hosted an event celebrating Black History month.  The Divine Nine, the city-wide African-American Greek sororities and fraternities, was the guests of honor that evening.  These Greek organizations are prevalent in the African American community, dating back to 1906.  They were formed during racially-charged times as a safe haven from the discrimination facing African-American college students.  Beginning as study groups, shifting to book clubs, and ending in a fully functional Greek organization, these groups mentor young people and help them to find their place and become leaders in their communities, as well as giving them a brotherhood or sisterhood to support them.  

The groups that performed were Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Alpha Phi Alpha.  Their type of dancing is called “stepping” or “strolling” and involves exaggerated steps and hand movements (think Stomp the Yard).  Each group did their own performance, and they joined together at the end to do an impromptu dance with all three groups.  There was a huge turnout for this event!  Food and refreshments were provided and promptly devoured.  After the performance, the groups were available for questions and pictures.

What is truly inspiring about these organizations is that they are considered a city-wide organization.  What this means is that the members, all hailing from Cleveland, can be from a number of different universities.  The ones from Cleveland typically have members from Baldwin Wallace University, Cleveland State University, and Case Western Reserve University.  More recently, John Carroll University and Notre Dame College have joined the ranks.  Typically, there is a competition between universities over who has a better football team or business program, but with these fraternities and sororities, a brotherhood or sisterhood is formed, and those things are overlooked. And that, my HerCampus readers, is beautiful.


If you have any questions about these organizations, see for more information!