Narrating the History of African American Greeks at the University of Alabama: Voices from the Past

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this study was to examine the initial creation of the African American Greek system at The University of Alabama. The perspectives of those individuals who participated in the development of the African American Greek system provided information that was used to compile an oral history. The sample consisted of 5 African American participants who were each charter members of one of the eight national African American fraternities and sororities that were established at The University of Alabama between 1973 and 1976. This study revealed that the primary reason why African American fraternities and sororities were established at the University of Alabama was to increase the opportunities for African American students to engage in activities related to their social, cultural, spiritual, and academic needs. Although the Afro-American Association served in this capacity prior to their establishment, the students felt limited by their options. These organizations offered African American students the opportunity to engage in the larger University without surrendering their cultural identities. The study also revealed that Beta Lambda Kappa fraternity, a local organization, was the genesis of African American fraternalism at The University of Alabama. Finally, the study revealed that the social climate for African American students was positively impacted by the establishment of African American fraternities and sororities.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
African American Greek letter societies, Greek letter societies--United States