University of Alabama Ends ‘Whites Only’ Sororities

University Of Alabama Sororities

In the deep south, Jim Crow laws aren’t all they way out the door just yet. There are some states and cities in the South that will still allow for segregated groups to survive.

At the University of Alabama, all White fraternities and sororities were allowed to thrive on campus.

Black women are allowed to join traditionally white sororities at the University of Alabama as of Friday. This is part of an effort to end racial segregation within Greek-letter social groups.

University President Judy Bonner said 11 black students and three students from other minority groups received bids, or invitations, to join a historically white sorority. Of that group, four black students and two students from other minority backgrounds have accepted those invitations, Bonner said. She expected the numbers to rise as the academic year continues.

The university’s Greek organizations have been segregated by race since the first black students enrolled and created social organizations. One oversight organization has been composed of white sororities and the other composed of minority sororities. Only a handful of blacks attempted to join the historically white Greek groups at Alabama, where there are also historically black fraternities and sororities.

The system came under fire after the school’s newspaper, The Crimson White, reported allegations this month that two prospective black members were passed over by all-white sororities because of pressure from alumnae, and in one case, an adviser. The coverage caused a wide-ranging debate, even prompting Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, an alumnus, to say that fraternal organizations should choose members based on their qualifications, not their race.

The debate came at an embarrassing time for Bonner’s university, which is marking the 50th anniversary of its racial integration. Alabama admitted its first black students in 1963 after then-Gov. George C. Wallace infamously stood in a schoolhouse door to protest their enrollment. Wallace relented under pressure from President John F. Kennedy’s administration.

Several hundred people marched Wednesday at the university to oppose racial segregation, and professors at a Faculty Senate meeting denounced long-standing racial segregation in fraternities and sororities.

Source: Huffington Post

 

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