So this Tuesday was Founders Day for my beloved organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. A legacy born from a vision of 22 collegiate women continues, 102 years later.
First, say hello to the Illustrious Founders: Osceola Macarthy Adams, Marguerite Young Alexander, Winona Cargile Alexander, Ethel Cuff Black, Bertha Pitts Campbell, Zephyr Chisom Carter, Edna Brown Coleman, Jessie McGuire Dent, Frederica Chase Dodd, Olive C. Jones, Myra Davis Hemmings, Jimmie Bugg Middleton, Pauline Oberdorfer Minor, Vashti Turley Murphy, Naomi Sewell Richardson, Mamie Reddy Rose, Eliza P. Shippen, Florence Letcher Toms, Ethel Carr Watson, Wertie Blackwell Weaver, Madree Penn White and Edith Motte Young.
Just to give you a brief history lesson — no lip smacking or eye rolling, please — Delta Sigma Theta was founded January 13, 1913 on the campus of Howard University (my Alma Mater, b.k.a. “the Mecca,” b.k.a. “the real HU”) in Washington, D.C. Since its founding, more than 200,000 predominantly Black, college-educated women have joined the organization to continue its legacy of Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.
While there is so much history behind this beautiful sisterhood , it’s too bad ‘Sorority Sisters’ — VH1’s latest epic fail of a “reality” show — didn’t plan on publicizing very much — or any — of my organization’s inspiring and uplifting principles; and the same goes for the other Divine Nine sororities represented (“Divine Nine” refers to a collection of nine historically black, Greek-lettered organizations, for those of you who are unfamiliar). Although I never chose to partake in watching, inevitably, the show is said to be hot mess, reflecting yet another a modern-day minstrelsy of black stereotypes (typical VH1 ish). And supposedly, the Deltas are the highlight of the show (not in a good way). The series received a ton of backlash from the organizations, and rightfully so, since the show was not supported by any of them.
Even more pathetic than the show itself will be its ‘nonofficial’ conclusion (the network hasn’t confirmed its decision to renew the series yet, but I wouldn’t count on a second season). VH1 will be burning out the last three episodes of the premiere season with back-to-back airings this Friday, at literally the eleventh hour (11:10 p.m. EST, to be exact).
While I’m thrilled the series will most likely be laid to rest, sadly, this isn’t the first — or last — show to capitalize off the negative portrayal of black women. After all, the Love & Hip Hop and Real Housewives franchises are still in full swing — pun intended — with the same case of snatched weaves, boy problems and sheisty ‘bitches’ trash-talking one another. Essentially, it’s the same bottom line: Black women embarrassing themselves on national television — and even more Black women watching it.
If you happen to watch Love & Hip Hop, Real Housewives, and/or every other reality show out there, I’m not one to place judgment. I actually recently broke down and binge-watched the first season of LHH Hollywood to see what all the hype was about (and I must admit, it was very entertaining — and addicting). But my point is, if all it takes is a bunch of ratchet women who just so happen to wear Greek letters on their chests to get our undivided attention, then we need a serious reality check. I’m pretty sure many of the folks who protested and boycotted to get the show off the air are the same ones who were Yas!-ing Portia for snatching up Kenya on Atlanta Housewives (I’ve seen enough video clips and Instagram memes to know what I’m talking about, in case you’re wondering). Just saying.
As a member of a Greek-lettered organization, I am happy to see such a swift end to a terrible misrepresentation of my sorority, and the other D-9 organizations. But in the grand scheme of things, Sorority Sisters is no different than every other reality show that exploits and misrepresents Black women. We just would much rather be entertained by the non-Greek-letter-wearing ones. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but if you honestly think the shows already out here are any better than the one that’s soon to be cancelled — *throws up diss hand* — bye, Felicia.