Date of Award
Dr. Mary Niall Mitchell
Dr. Connie Zeanah Atkinson
Dr. Robert Dupont
Every semester across the United States, countless students join Greek letter organizations. While some may recognize the Greek letters, many Americans do not know the racial divide within the Greek life system, and the difference of purpose those organizations hold. This study focuses on eight historically Black fraternities and sororities and more specifically, their chapters at the University of New Orleans, a university that throughout its history has had a predominantly White student body, and often fostered an environment overtly and subtly hostile to African-American students.
Using oral histories, university yearbooks, and university newspapers this study demonstrates how Black fraternities and sororities at UNO promoted and supported the academic success of African-American students by emphasizing community service work, communal bonds, and connections to campus activities. These organizations provided emotional and academic support for African-American students and actively resisted the racial divisiveness present on their university campus.
Darbonne, August J., "A Space of Their Own Color: Black Greek Letter Organizations at the University of New Orleans" (2019). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 2602.