White Girls Win Step Show, On No They Didn't
I know it’s strange to see white faces at a dance competition traditionally dominated by black sororities and fraternities. But barring the girls from competing and booing them afterwards? Really. Is this the ‘Change’ we all voted for?Step off! That’s what some sorority and fraternity members are saying days after members of Zeta Tau Alpha, a white sorority, won the Sprite Step Off National Step Competition in Atlanta. Yes, a bunch of honkies from Arkansas outstepped teams of African American students from across the country including members of traditionally black sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta and people are not happy. At the competition ZTA was booed. People couldn’t believe they won and some said the white girls shouldn’t have even been allowed in the competition. Later, Sprite announced that they discovered a scoring discrepancy and awarded Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha each $100,000 in prize money and called them co-winners. (Follow www.chicktalkdallas.com/blog)
Lawrence Ross Jr. at The Root reports, “The Sprite Step Off, broadcast on MTV2, distributed $1.5 million in prize money via regional competitions to winning step teams from around the country. With musical guests like Lupe Fiasco and Ludacris, this was the first national stepping competition to gain such widespread exposure, and the finals in Atlanta were highly anticipated. And while the nine African-American fraternities and sororities signed a licensing agreement with Sprite, earning an estimated $75,000 per organization, there was nothing in their agreement that prevented a non-African-American fraternity or sorority from competing. Enter Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority from the University of Arkansas.” (Follow www.chicktalkdallas.com/blog)
Today, Gina Carroll at Blog Her writes about the "beginning of the end to a black tradition" and that white faces in step is just another way, "Black folks have a long witnessed their cultural traditions and innovations discredited and invalidated only until taken and repackaged by white America." Really, Gina? That sounds an awful lot like what white folks say when black folks move into "their" neighborhoods, "Here they come, this is the end, let's get out of here." I understand that Stepping comes from black tradition and culture. But let's face it. Stepping is mainstream. College students do it for competition, to get money, to raise money, high school students form teams as well and many teams are multicultural. At the University of Arkansas other sororities welcomed the competition and the Zetas have been stepping for some time and on their campus race was not an issue. “Our chapter became involved in stepping about 15 years ago,” said Alexandra Kosmitis, step team participant and former Epsilon Chapter president. “The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority at our school hosts an annual step show. They invite all sororities and fraternities to compete in it. We have been keeping up the tradition ever since.”
This smells of Hampton University all over again. Remember that incident last year when Nikole Churchill became the historically black college’s first white homecoming queen. Drama! I know it’s strange to see white faces at a dance competition traditionally dominated by black sororities and fraternities. But barring the girls from competing and booing them afterwards? Really. Is this the ‘Change’ we all voted for? The Zetas had the cojones to show up at a competition that they were not welcomed at and won. Scoring discrepancy aside, the judges thought they had the stuff. And, yes, some white people can dance. Why don’t others show a little fraternal spirit and give the Zetas their due? See the steps for yourself.