Bama Rush: Everything We Learned About Sorority Culture

The sororities at the University of Alabama were only formally integrated in 2013, though the Panhellenic Association remains predominantly white. According to the university’s newspaper The Crimson White, white students accounted for about 89 percent of potential new members but made up about 85 percent of the UA undergraduate population in spring 2021. Roughly 1.3 percent of pledges identified as Black, per the paper, with 97 percent of the Black PNMs who completed the recruitment process receiving bids—”a higher rate than any other racial group,” The Crimson White noted.

Bama Rush briefly goes into the history of the Divine 9, which are the nine historically African American Greek-letter organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African-American sorority on sorority row. 

Rian, who is biracial, explained why she decided to rush outside the Divine 9.

“To be in a D9 sorority, I feel like there is a tie to history that you need to have,” Rian shares. “Even if I had become more comfortable with who I was in a racial sense, I still feel like I wouldn’t fit in there because I was raised by white people. I think they would have accepted me, but I think I wouldn’t have accepted myself enough to get the sorority experience I would have been happy with.”

Still, Rian noted she had dealt with microaggressions, while one of the doc’s featured PNMs, Mikalya Miller, opens up about the struggle of being a biracial woman. 

“Everyone just looks at you, if you have any drop of color in you,” Mikalya says. “It’s just awkward, I guess.”


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