Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Prince Hall Shriners' Tradition Of "Riding" (Marching In Procession While Doing The Camel Walk Dance)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents information about the Prince Hall Shriners' tradition of "riding" (i.e. marching in procession while doing the dance called the "Camel Walk".)

This post also showcases two processional videos of the Shriners' female auxiliary "The Daughters Of Isis".

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all the Prince Hall Shriners and the Daughters Of Isis who are featured in this post. Thanks also to those who wrote the information that I quoted in this post and thanks to the producers of these videos and to their YouTube publishers.

Click for the closely related pancocojams post "Videos Of "The Camel Walk" Dance & Shriners "Riding" Camel Walk Strut"
I have no affiliation with the Shriners' female auxiliary "The Daughters of Isis". Nor do I have any direct or indirect contact with any member of the A.E.A.O.N.M.S. (Shriners).

As indicated above, this information is posted for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes. I've also re-published this post as a means of pointing out the very close similarities between Shriners' "riding" with historically Black Greek lettered fraternities' and sororities' strolling. Pancocojams video examples of "strolling" can be found by clicking the African American fraternities and sororities tag.
Much of this pancocojams post was previously published in 2013 on my zumalayah cultural blog*.

Zumalayah showcases videos of dances & singing games done in circles or in lines, and other movement performance arts from African American culture, from African cultures, and from other cultures of the African Diaspora.

I no longer add content to Zumalayah or any other of my Google blogs except pancocojams. To access zumalyah, click The hyperlinks for my other google blogs "cocojams 2 [posts about children's recreational rhymes & singing games] and civil rights songs can be found on the right hand sidebar.

I've also added the Black church processional tag at the bottom of this post because of the similarities between Shriners' riding processionals and Black church processionals. Click Marching For Jesus (Church Ushers & Nurses) Black Church Processions Part III for one of my favorite posts about Black church processionals, particularly the first showcase video about processionals during a convention of church ushers and nurses.

The formal name for the Prince Hall Shriners is the "Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine". (A.E.A.O.N.M.S.) This Black fraternal organization are called "Prince Hall Shriners" to distinguish them from the earlier organization of Shriners who are White.

Prince Hall (1735 – 1807) was an African American noted as a tireless abolitionist, for his leadership in the free black community in Boston, and as the founder of Prince Hall Masonry (in 1775). (

The Prince Hall Shriners were founded in 1893.

"The Camel Walk" has been at least informally adopted as a signature group march of the Prince Hall Shriners. That fraternal organization's adoption of the "Camel Walk" for their processionals is likely because the "camel" is connected with the Shriners' and their female auxiliary's (the Daughters of Isis) Middle Eastern theme. As part of that Middle Eastern theme, the members of the Prince Hall Shriners are called "Nobles" & they wear tasseled fezes during their special events. The Prince Hall Shriners' chapters are called "temples" & the terms "oasis" is used for the city and "desert" is used for the state that a specific temple (for instance, Arabia Temple #12, Black Stone Disciples, Oasis of Portsmouth Desert Of Virginia.)

The Prince Hall Shriners’ performance of the Camel Walk dance is called "riding" . A version of the song "Ride The White Horse" appears to be the (at least unofficial) anthem of the Prince Hall Masons' riding.

Click and for information about the Shriners.

(These videos are presented in chronological order based on the date of their YouTube posting, with the oldest dated videos posted first.)

Warning: The "Ride The White Horse" record that appears to be routinely used for the Shriners' "riding" custom contains the repeated word "b**tch". Although this blog usually doesn't feature any videos that contains profanity, I'm including these videos in the interest of documenting the Prince Hall Shriners tradition of "riding".

Example #1: Shriners- Chicago Camel Walk 2010

palestinenoble1, Uploaded on Oct 5, 2010

Chicago-Palestine #1 A.A.O.N.M.S. First Gala Walk in 26yrs...Bringing it back home.

Example #2: Ahmed Temple #37

Uploaded by Princess314 on Oct 10, 2010
The audience calls in this video such as "I see you [person's name]!", "Alright now!", and "Get it now!" remind me of the responses that are heard at Black Greek lettered step shows and stroll competitions.

Also, one or more person dancing in the center of the circle is a traditional form of African American dances & other African Diaspora dances. That same formation in which a person/persons in the center of the circle format is found in Black children's circle games.

Example #3: Persian Temple No. 46 - 2010 Potentate Ball - Intro (Camel Walk)

Uploaded by smokeyjoesii on Dec 19, 2010
This video also points out some striking similarities between the "riding" processional movement of the Prince Hall Shriners and the "strolling" processional movement of historically Black Greek lettered fraternities and sororitites.

The Prince Hall Shriners were founded in 1893 and Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc (the first university based historically Black Greek lettered organization) was founded in 1906. Therefore, it would be correct to say that those historically Black Greek lettered fraternities are modeled after the Prince Hall Shriners and not vice versa.

Another way in which these organizations resemble each other is their use of call & response chanting. I can't make out what the leader says in the above video, but the response is "46" (the number of this particular Shriners' "chapter").Compare that to Black Greek lettered fraternities'/sororities' signature chants which include call & response chants that are based on the organization's founding date. For instance, members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. have a call & response chant in which the leader of the chanters calls "1 9" and the other chanters respond "0 6" - 1906 being the date that the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity was founded.

I'd love to know if it's common for Prince Hall Shriners & Daughters of Isis to pledge any BGLO fraternity or sorority, and if so, I wonder if one particular fraternity or sorority is most often pledged by those men and those women.

By the way, the women in the video who are dressed in white with white hats are members of the Prince Hall Shriners' female auxiliary, the Daughters of Isis.

Example #4: Golconda Temple No. 24 Nobles camel walking into the formal dinner dance

Uploaded by bks2295 on Mar 7, 2011

Example #5: NOBLES


MrMyPushUps, Uploaded on Mar 18, 2011

Party At The Shriners
Deep South Shriners-PHA (A.E.A.O.N.M.S)

Example #6: Jerusalem Temple #4 - A.E.A.O.N.M.S. Baltimore Md

Rosco Production, Published on Jul 25, 2012

Jerusalem Temple #4 - A.E.A.O.N.M.S.
New Class Of 2012 Nobles

Example #7: Shriners - Camel Walks, Parades, Balls, Fez, entertainment

Selim Etkar, Published on Jan 10, 2017

Best of Shriner's videos from youtube.
At around 9:22 in this video, notice the "Soul Train" line formation (and earlier, the Virginia Reel formation) of two individuals dancing down a center isle formed by people standing facing each other in two parallel lines.

Example #1: 2010 NY Drill Team -Julia Grand Court Daughters of Isis and Mecca Syria # 7 Temple Nobles

tyboogie758, Published on Feb 28, 2011

Watch the Daughters of Isis and Nobles from NYS win the Annual Drill team competition at the 17th Annual Convention in St. Louis, MO.

Example #2: 2017 Tuwa Joint Ball ( Tuwa Court)

RayDog2K4, Published on May 9, 2017

2017 Tuwa Joint Ball

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Monday, September 18, 2017

1984 Article Excerpt About Robert Farris Harris, An American Historian & Writer Specializing In African & African Diaspora Folk Cultures

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides an excerpt of a 1984 Rolling Stone magazine article about Robert Farris Thompson entitled "Robert Farris Thompson: Canons of the Cool". Robert Farris Thompson is a White American historian and writer specialising in the art and cultures of Africa and African Diaspora Folk Cultures.*

An excerpt from the Wikipedia page for Robert Farris Thompson is given in the beginning of this post.

The content of this post is presented for linguistic, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Robert Farris Thompson for his life's legacy and thanks to the author of the article that is being quoted.

Note: I publish excerpts of articles or of hard to find books in this pancocojams blog to increase awareness about those writings and to encourage people to read them in their entirety.

*Most of this sentence identifying Robert Farris Thompson is taken from his Wikipedia page. However, I added the words "and cultures" to that sentence. I also changed the term "Afro-Atlantic" that is given in that Wikipedia page to "African Diaspora Folk Cultures" as that term is a better fit for me in describing the range and depth of Thompson's interest and scholarly accomplishments.

"Robert Farris Thompson (born December 30, 1932, El Paso, Texas[1]) is an American historian and writer specialising in the art of Africa and the Afro-Atlantic world. He has been a member of the faculty at Yale University since 1965 and currently serves as the Colonel John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art.[2] Thompson coined the term "black Atlantic" in his 1983 book Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy - the expanded subject of Paul Gilroy's book The Black Atlantic.[3]

He lived in the Yoruba region of southwest Nigeria for many years while he conducted his research of Yoruba arts history. He is affiliated with the University of Ibadan and frequented Yoruba village communities. Thompson has studied the African arts of the diaspora in the United States, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and several Caribbean islands...

Career at Yale
In 1955, Thompson received his B.A. from Yale University. After receiving his bachelor's degree, he continued his studies at Yale, where he received his Masters in 1961 and his Ph.D in 1965.[4]

Having served as Master of Timothy Dwight College from 1978 until 2010, he was the longest serving master of a residential college at Yale. Thompson is one of America's most prominent scholars of African art, and has presided over exhibitions of African art at the National Gallery in Washington D. C.. He is one of the longest-serving alumni of Yale.

Publications and areas of study
Beginning with an article on Afro-Cuban dance and music (published in 1958), Thompson has dedicated his life to the study of art history of the Afro-Atlantic world.[4] His first book was Black Gods and Kings, which was a close reading of the art history of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria (population of approximately 40 million).[4] Other published works include- African Art in Motion, Flash of the Spirit (1983), Face of the Gods, and Tango: The Art History of Love.[4] Thompson also published an introduction to the diaries of Keith Haring. Some of his works have even been translated into German, Portuguese, French and Flemish.[4] Additionally, Thompson also studies the art of Guillermo Kuitca and José Bedia, and has been anthologized 15 times.[4]”...

"Robert Farris Thompson: Canons of the Cool"

The Yale professor was destined to become another stuffy intellectual — until he danced the mambo

By Fred Iseman, November 22, 1984
..."Robert Farris Thompson and I have come down to Haiti on a 10:30 a.m. flight from New York to pass the weekend with André Pierre and with Madame Nerva, a vodun priestess. Thompson is an art historian, a tenured professor at Yale and master of Timothy Dwight College there. I am a former student of his, come along to watch Bob make what he calls "a little sounding" — "a little sondage." André Pierre is the Haitian Fra Angelico, a vodun cleric whose canvases hang in the Haitian national museum; copies of his work fill airport postcard racks.


White of skin, white of hair and white of origins, education and society, Robert Farris Thompson fell in love with black music, black art and blackness 30 years ago and has spent his entire career in the grips of that particular passion. Following an instinct aroused by a mambo overheard in 1950, Thompson has learned fluent Ki-Kongo, Yoruba, French, Spanish and Portuguese and is learning a score of Creole and tribal languages; wandered, with pygmies, Zaire's Ituri forest; become a vodun acolyte; written four books on West African religion, philosophy and art; and organized two major exhibitions at Washington's National Gallery. He has also become, by dancing in an indigo costume embroidered with seashells taken from the gizzards of dead crocodiles, a "junior-varsity member of the Basinjon Society," a Cameroun tribal agency for controlling lightning and other natural forces.

Incorporating anthropology, sociology, ethnomusicology and what Thompson calls "guerrilla scholarship" (i.e., "We'll let the fud-duds footnote their way across that"), Thompson's career is bent toward a single end: the learned advocacy of black Atlantic civilization. He spends his life pursuing the scholarly thrill of making coherent and meaningful what is misunderstood as random, superficial or obscure. As an art historian will extract from basilica floor plans a comprehension of the medieval mind, or from late Roman statuary an understanding of the empire's decline, Thompson works from the iconography of salsa, dance steps, clothes, sculpture, gesture and slang to a definition of blackness. He loves to show how sophisticated the "primitive" really is. As archeologist, he brings artifacts to life; as critic, he deciphers them; and as true believer, he promotes their artistic and spiritual worth.


Bob Thompson lectures his class like a fundamentalist preacher rousing a congregation, knees bent, microphone cocked and wire trailing behind him. He walks amid the 200 students overflowing the Street Hall auditorium out into the corridor. Thompson's fall course, HoA 379a, is titled "The Structure of the New York Mambo: Microcosm of Black Creativity." Onstage a tape player emits pygmy yodeling; from the vacant lectern hangs a map of West African tribal dominions; and on the screen flash slides of Harlem, pygmies, fabrics of syncopated patterns and Kongo-influenced funerary sculpture from North Carolina graveyards. "Why," Thompson asks, "are black people so sassy?"

The answer begins with the etymology of the phrase "get down." It moves to the Yoruba concepts of cool (itutu) and command (àshe); lateral versus sagittal walking; the aesthetics of drumming; the significance of offbeat phrasing; call-and-response; and finally Muhammad Ali. Thompson's voice switches to a mock-Groton lilt to declaim a litany of African influences:

"A lot of our slang was created by people thinking in Yoruba and Ki-Kongo while speaking in English. The basic sounds of agreement and disagreement, uh-huh and unh-unh, are pure West African. Funky is Ki-Kongo lu-fuki, 'positive sweat.' Boogie comes from Ki-Kongo mbugi, meaning 'devilishly good.' Jazz and jisn probably derive from the same Ki-Kongo root dinza, meaning 'to ejaculate.' Mojo comes from Ki-Kongo for 'soul'; juke as in jukebox from Mande-kan for 'bad'; and Babalu-Aye — as in disc jockey Babalu — is pure and simple Yoruba for 'Father and Master of the Universe.'

"Most of our ballroom dancing is Africanized," he continues, "the rhumba, the tango, even tap-dancing and the Lindy. Fried chicken is African. And J. Press patchwork shorts may be related to an African fabric. Even cheerleading incorporates some apparent Kongo gestures: left hand on hip, right hand raised twirling a baton. It worked its way up through New Orleans Vodun Rara bands into the Dallas Cowboys' half-time show."

"Let me give you all the pieces that ignited," Thompson explains, sitting in a campus restaurant. "I grew up in Texas; I was crazy about boogie. I wasn't a football player or anything, and I realize now that any elements of attractiveness I had for girls then were both musical and black-influenced. My senior year at prep school, I went to Mexico City on a trip. There was this mambo — Mexico City was awash in mambo — I heard waiters humming it, I heard it on the lips of gas-station attendants, I heard it in the background when talking to the hotel operator on the phone. It was my first full shot of African music: all-out black polyphony, mambo multimetrics. A stunning woman stopped in front of me in a cafe; she heard this music, and I heard her say to her companion, 'But darling, it's such a different beat.'"

Thompson's newest book, Flash of the Spirit, explains the roots of African influence in the New World. It serves as a sort of Baedeker to funk. One reviewer wrote, "This book does for art history what the dunk shot did for basketball."

"Let me give you all the pieces that ignited," Thompson explains, sitting in a campus restaurant. "I grew up in Texas; I was crazy about boogie. I wasn't a football player or anything, and I realize now that any elements of attractiveness I had for girls then were both musical and black-influenced. My senior year at prep school, I went to Mexico City on a trip. There was this mambo — Mexico City was awash in mambo — I heard waiters humming it, I heard it on the lips of gas-station attendants, I heard it in the background when talking to the hotel operator on the phone. It was my first full shot of African music: all-out black polyphony, mambo multimetrics. A stunning woman stopped in front of me in a cafe; she heard this music, and I heard her say to her companion, 'But darling, it's such a different beat.'"

A mambo called "The Newspaper Shirt Mambo" — La Camisa de Papel — by Justi Barretto, is the principal icon of Thompson's career. A broken shard of the Mexican 78-rpm record as sung by Perez Prado hangs framed in his study. "Specifically, it's about a black who wears a shirt literally made of scare headlines — a shirt of newspaper. The song had no fear of strong subject matter — it was about the beginning of the Korean War and about the fear of thermonuclear war. One line goes, 'Hey, black man, got the news?' I was irradiated with this music, hopelessly hooked on mambo."


"Music called," Thompson says, "and art history was the response." He decided to become a graduate student at Yale. "The more I studied, the more I saw how the world had covered up the source of all this. It wasn't Latin music — it was Kongo-Cuban-Brazilian music. You can hear Kongo rhythms in 'The Newspaper Shirt.' And mambu in Ki-Kongo means 'issues, important matters, text.' A mambo is a seminar on the crisscross of currents from Africa.

"These are some of the strands in the textile: salsa and reggae share the mambo impulse, and the mambo component in turn emerged from Cuba in the late 1930s. Yoruba is still spoken there. If you were Yoruba, and taken in slavery in the nineteenth century, chances were you'd wind up in Cuba or northeastern Brazil. Afro-Cuban culture survived slavery. Those Afro-Cuban rhythms are hot, acrid and bumping. I have spent my life like a literary critic," he says, "trying to marshal all the apposite texts to decode 'The Newspaper Shirt Mambo.'"


In the process of getting tenure at Yale, Thompson published Black Gods and Kings, The Four Moments of the Sun and African Art in Motion, about the intertwining aesthetics of West African sculpture, fabric and dance. Now Flash of the Spirit is reaching readers who aren't specialists, iconographers or academics. His next book, finally, after 30 years, will be the mambo book.

"Each successive wave of immigration — Dominican, Puerto Rican, Haitian, Jamaican — enhances the music. One can speak of 'conjugating' a beat. It's explosive. Salsa was a major turning point — in 1968 New York became virtually the musical capital of the Latin world. And all of it cross-pollinating with jazz, and pure Yoruba music like King Sunny Ade, and then, through secondary reverberations, to white groups, like the Talking Heads.


Thompson is keen to distinguish between practicing West African religion and teaching the culture of which it is a part. Recently, someone he hardly knows asked him for spiritual advice, and Thompson was appalled. He thinks of himself as a medium, but a medium of the most ordinary sort. He feels that what he has to teach is merely what he's culled from all his global "informants." In Thompson's books, the acknowledgment sections tend to run to hundreds and hundreds of tiny little sonorous names, which if read aloud sound like listings from the Lagos, Rio, Ouagadougou and New Haven telephone directories combined. They are the sources of the "flash of the spirit," without which, Thompson says, he's "just Joe the gray-haired academic."


Those who slight the importance of such black folk rituals, and of Thompson's life's work, make him indignant. "How dare people patronize Africa?" he asks. "Those people stand like giants in teaching us how to live. There is a moral voice imbedded in the Afro-Atlantic aesthetic that the West can't grasp. They don't see the monuments, just barefoot philosophy coming from village elders. But the monument is a grand reconciling art form that tries to morally reconstruct a person without humiliating him." Sometimes when Thompson starts rolling, his voice takes on the cadences of black speech.

"These are the canons of the cool: There is no crisis that cannot be weighed and solved; nothing can be achieved through hysteria or cowardice; you must wear and show off your ability to achieve social reconciliation. Step back from the nightmare. It is a call for parlance, for congress and for self-confidence. 'The Newspaper Shirt' is all about wearing a crisis on your chest. Afro-Atlantic art forms are juridical and medical, as well as aesthetic. It is a very hard-nosed way to use art."...

Click for a pdf file of "Flash Of The Spirit: African and Afro-American Art And Philosophy by Robert Farris Thompson

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hand Signs Used By Historically Black Greek Lettered Fraternities & Sororities (quotes and video examples)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides quotes about hand signs that are used by members of historically Black Greek lettered organizations (BGLOs) and showcases BGLO videos that include hand signs.

This post also includes information about BGLO calls because of the close connection between historically Black Greek lettered organizations' calls and hand signs.

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in this post and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

This post serves as a companion to a two part pancocojams series on historically Black Greek lettered organizations calls. Click for Part I of that series. The link for Part II (videos of BGLO roll calls) is included in that post.

The comment section below includes links to two blog posts/articles about the use of hand signs among PWI (predominately White [Greek lettered] Institutions). The 2015 article announced a ban on the publication on social media of photographs for members of Kappa Kappa Gamma if those photographs included hand signs. Most of the published comments with that article were critical of that decision. For the folkloric record, in this post's comment section, I've quoted a small portion of that article as well as several comments.

Although I've not quoted any of the comments in that linked six page blog post, some commenters in that discussion noted that hand signs are not only the norm among historically Black Greek lettered organizations, but are also the norm among Latino/a, Asian, and multi-cultural university based Greek lettered organizations.

These quotes are given in no particular order and are numbered for referencing purposes only.

Quote #1
This is an excerpt from the pancocojams post on BGLO calls whose link is given above:
From NPHC National Membership Intake Guide: A Statement About Calls & Hand Signs By National Pan-Hellenic Council
"Hand signs and calls have evolved into another historical facet of Black fraternal organization life. According to Kimbrough (2003), the concept of calls is embedded in both African and African-American tradition. These sounds were a form of yodeling known as whooping in the Congo and Angola tribes. Additionally, these audible sounds, also known as cries and arhoolies, could he heard being sung by slaves. It is not clear when calls were first used, however, it seems possible that calls used by NPHC organizations became prevalent during the mid-1970’s.

Much like calls, the exact origin of hand signs cannot be pinpointed. According to Kimbrough (2003), pictures from college campuses of Black fraternities and sororities indicate that hand signs became a part of the Black fraternal experience during the 1970’s. Although it is not clear how calls and hand signs evolved, these traditions are long standing.

These universal symbols can be seen as exclusive outward expressions of pride and of strong organizational identification."
Added August 29. 2016
"I'm a very inactive member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Gamma Zeta chapter, New Jersey, 1967). During the brief time in 1967 that I was active with that sorority, I definitely recall hearing and performing that organization's signature call "Skee Weee". I also definitely remember seeing and doing the organization's secret handshake. I know how to do AKA's hand sign, but I'm not sure that I remember seeing or doing an AKA hand sign before I voluntarily became inactive (which, for various reasons was shortly after I "went over" - i.e. officially became a member of that organization)."
I should also note that the handshake and hand sign both feature the pinky finger.

Quote #2
From [Google Books]
Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Black Fraternities (Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2003) By Walter M. Kimbrough

[page] 122
..."Calls are audible sounds made by members as a means to signify or acknowledge membership in a particular organizations, or to acknowledge or “call” a member who might be in range where they could hear the call and respond. Instead of yelling the person’s name, the fraternity brother or sorority sister would use the call to get the person’s attention. These actions are also steeped in African and African American traditions. Alternately named whoops, hollers, cries, and artwhoolies, they were a form of yodeling employed in the Congo and Angola among tribes (whooping), or sung by slaves (cries and artwhoolies). Call was also the name of the practice of black vendors who peddled and advertised their products.

Being verbal customs, it is difficult to determine when or why they appeared. Discussions with older members of the organizations yield varying responses as to when calls were first used. In a dissertation, Marcella McCoy explores some customs of Black Greek-lettered organizations. The topic of calls was raised through interviews with persons initiated throughout a period of 1941 to 1994. Some of the subjects said they heard calls as early as the late 1960s, but there was a great deal of inconsistency. One of the ways used to determine the origins was to look for these phrases written in student publications. At Alabama State in 1981, the phrase “OO OOP” was viewed on a T-shirt of Delta Sigma Theta members on the campus. Three years later at Alabama A&M, the phrase “SKEE-WEE” appeared. It is probable that these calls were mid-1970s inventions, but a much more detailed analysis of this aspect of Black fraternalism is needed and warranted.

[page 123 is not available online}

[page] 124

[quote begins on page 123 and appears to be a description of a photo]

[Virginia?] “Beach in the early 1980s showed a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority holding their sorority hand sign, characterized by holding out the pinky finger. Even though a seventies invention, within a decade, hand signs became ubiquitous. Since that time, practically all undergraduates pose for pictures while using their respective hand signs."

Quote #3
eview: Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities

Posted on April 26, 2014 by ancherise Standard
..."I’m sure African American students attending predominently Black colleges as well as predominantly white colleges have seen the Black Greek-Letter Organizations around their campuses repping their organization dressed in jackets with Greek letters, line names, colors, and numbers, as well as these organizations “throwing up” their traditional hand signs, and shouting out calls while stepping during parties. This book thoroughly explains the transformation of Black Greek-Letter Organizations and the history behind what these organizations have become in our culture today. It talks about the evolution of hazing and pledging, distinguishing the two. As I’ve stated in previous posts, people have different processes. It just all depends on the chapter and organization. This book highlights that. It brings some terms to pass that you might have heard around your campuses (paper, skaters, nupes, ques, wood, etc.). It also explains and attempts to date the history of stepping, and why these organizations throw up hand signs and shout out calls."

Quote #4
Google Books: African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision (University Press of Kentucky, Mar 11, 2005) edited by Tamara Brown
[page] 297
"What is a Call?
Calls, along with organizational colors, commonly serve as introductory features to BGLOs. Calls are vocal utterances, either words or sounds, coined for use of the respective organizations...Calls can be diverse in pitch and sound, ranging from a howl or a bark to a screech or whistle. It is understood that nonmembers do not use the call, because it is viewed as offensive and disrespectful toward the organization that coined it. The call is used to acknowledge and greet another member who is some distance away, to avoid yelling that person’s name. It is used to get the attention of another member and as a form of affirmation and approval in place of applause when members of various BGLOs are present. Common usage involves one member initiating the call and the member or members being addressed replying with the same call or another responding call....

Hand signals are used to accompany or substitute for the call in many situations. It is not uncommon for members to form the symbol of the group with their hands while posing for a photograph, especially if they are not wearing paraphernalia. The same exclusive rules of ownership that applies to calls applies to the use of hand signals."

These videos are given in chronological order based on the founding date of these nine historically Black Greek lettered organizations. Note that I chose to feature a combined video of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc because that video extensively featured members of those two organizations throwing hand signs.

These videos are given without any viewer comments or any editorial comment (by me) except to note that it appears that all of these organizations have more than one signature hand sign.

Many of these videos showcase fraternity and/or sorority strolling because hand signs are often performed while doing that performance art. I tried to chose videos that were less than 10 minutes and which didn't include background music that contained any profanity or what is commonly known as "the n word". Please suggest additional links to YouTube videos that showcase hand signs as long as they meet those criteria.

Video #1: Alphas & AKAs Stroll

Charles Sueing, Published on Nov 3, 2011

Morehouse/Spelman Homecoming 2011
This video showcases members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. hand signs can be best seen around 2:09 of this video.

Video #2: The Lambda Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Presents "AcademiK Probation"

Lowdown Nupes Published on Aug 19, 2016

August 27th, 2016 | University of Tennessee - Chattanooga | Kappa Alphha Psi | UTC Nupes | @lowdownnupes

Video #3: Omega Psi Phi Talented 10th District Hop and Cadillac Hop

Mr. Party Promoter, Published on Jun 13, 2016

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Talented 10th District Hop and What they Live for "Cadillacs" Hop

Video #4: 2014 UMD Block Show: Delta Sigma Theta

Shegaw MekonenPublished on May 8, 2014

The sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc's Kappa Phi chapter perform at the University of Maryland College Park Block Show

Video #5: Phi Beta Sigma WINS 2017 Atlanta Greek Picnic Stroll off (Official Video )#AGP2017 #DewXAgp

Atlanta Greek Picnic Published on Jun 26, 2017

The men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc WIN the 2017 Atlanta Greek Picnic Stroll off. Saturday June 24th, Morris Brown College. Sponsored by Mountain Dew.

Video #6: Zeta Phi Beta, Tuskegee Stroll Off 2016

Kelli Lacy Published on Aug 31, 2016

Theta Beta Chapter!!! Stroll of Tuskegee Universtiy

Video #7: Sigma Gamma Rho Mu Xi Spring 2016 Probate Jacksonville State University #MovieMic Promos

MovieMIC, Published on Mar 15, 2016

#MovieMic my Alma Mater The Jacksonville State University

Video #8: Evil Eta Chapter Iota's Stepping (Virginia State) [Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.]

De Shaun Published on Aug 27, 2010

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Black Power Themes In Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc, Probate (VSU's Evil Eta Chapter - Spring 2014)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases a video of the Black power themes in Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc, Probate (VSU's Evil Eta Chapter - Spring 2014). Included in this video are vintage clips of Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panthers, and others.

Selected comments from video's discussion thread are also included in this post. I've also added brief explanatory notes for some of these comments.

The content of this post is presented for historical and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks and congratulations to all those who are featured in this video and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Iota Phi Theta - Evil Eta Chapter - Spring 2k14 Probate

TrojanNation1882 Published on Mar 25, 2014

The Evil Eta Chapter Presents...

The Freedom Riders aka The Refugees

The Evil Eta Chapter Presents...

The Freedom Riders aka The Refugees

1. Denzel Davis/Line Name - The Ghost Rider Alias - Geo-Dude
2. Maleik Pride/Line Name - The Activist Alias - Gravey -ite
3. Wanya Wilson/Line Name - Black Owt Alias - The Peacemaker
4. Darien Pope/Line Name - Colossus Alias - Thor
5. Bradford Bearden/Line Name - RhymeFest Alias - The Outcast
6. Devin Harrington/Line Name - Rhythm & Blues Alias - The Composer
7. Omega/Line Name - NoTAURius B.I.G Alias- The Longest Yard

Created by: The Trojan Introduction Program
Chief Videographer: Deon Tillman & Dominique Robinson
Chief Editor: Deon Tillman & Nigel France

VSU = Virginia State University

These comments are numbered for referencing purposes only. All of these comments are from 2014.

My notes after some of these comments may include definitions from this online page: "Montclair State [New Jersey] Greek Life Glossary (hereafter given as "Montclair State Greek Glossary"

Here's a statement from that page:
"(Please note this is not an exhaustive list and is compiled from multiple sources. Not all terms are used by all groups/campuses.)"

Here's the definition of "Probate" from that glossary:
"Probate/Coming Out Show" – A performance by newly inducted or soon to be inducted members. A way for
organizations to showcase the newest members of the organization"

"Inspiration. ...Thank you Eta Chapter. .OW OW "It Takes A Man""
"Ow Ow" is the signature call for members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.

2. Gerald E Anderson Jr
"Once again my Evil Eta brothers make me proud to be an Iota and to be from Evil Eta. Ow Ow!!!!!"

3. rontavius allen
"I see you Sandz
ACE Spr 2k14
Beta Theta Chapter
Sandz" = Sands
from Montclair State Greek Glossary - "Sands - An NPHC term for members of your new member class or Greeks who became members the same semester. Comes from the phrase "cross the burning sands" which means to cross over (Become initiated) into full membership.

from Montclair State Greek Glossary- "NPHC - The National Pan-Hellenic Council, the governing body of the 9 historically African American fraternities and sororities, also known as the Divine Nine."
Note that there are other African American Greek letter (and non-Greek letter) university based fraternities and sororities besides the Divine Nine.

4. newjeruz08
"Great job Fellas! Keep Building a Tradition and Not Resting Upon One" Dean Big Brother OwtSpoken! 6HFA11"

5. bama7boy
"Ow Ow to my neos!! Continue to uphold what it takes to be a Tru Theta Man.. 2HFa12 Decatholon"

from Montclair State Greek Glossary - "Neophyte - New member of Greek Letter organization; also called a ‘Neo’. This term is generally used by NPHC, NALFO, and NMGC organizations.

NALFO - "The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) is an umbrella council for 16 Latino Greek Letter Organizations established in 1998."

NMGC= "The National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) is an umbrella council for eleven multicultural fraternities and sororities (Greek Letter organizations) in universities in the United States. It was established in 1998."

6. Jennifer Odom
"Woooork!!! I miss my VSU! Shout out to the Tr3!!! EEE-OW!"
"EE-OW" - a call that a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. uses to address members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. The call combines the beginning of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. call ("EEE-Yip") with the end of the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. call ("Ow Ow").

"EEE-Ow" is a combined sorority/fraternity call. This type of combination call are respectful greetings that acknowledge the family ties that exists across Black Greek Lettered Organizations (BGLOs). From what I've read online, it appears that combined calls are most often given by members of historically Black Greek lettered sororities to members of other historically Black Greek lettered fraternities. I don't know if members of historically Black Greek lettered fraternities follow the same custom for members of historically Black Greek letter sororities, or if this custom is done for between two sororities, or two fraternities, or between BGLOs and other fraternal organizations.

7. Court Lyn F.
"This Iota Chapter been popping for years! Congrats EEE-OW!!"
"poppin" = African American Vernacular English term meaning "excelling"; "rising up", "exceeding expectations", [being] "hot"

8. keith oliver
"Way to set the standard. OW-OW Eta Chapter.
Tuskegee University

9. Allester Taylor
"OW-OW that was OWsome Brothers!!!! Congrats
#1 Spring 01
Delta Zeta Indiana State University"

10. mrtooauthentic24
1 DO 14."

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