Posted on June 18, 2024

Viral Video of Sorority Girls Gyrating to X-Rated Rap Sparks Fury Over ‘Cultural Appropriation’

Emma Richter, Daily Mail, June 16, 2024

A video of sorority girls dancing to X-rated rap music has been blasted online and triggered fury over claims of ‘cultural appropriation.’

The group of Gamma Alpha Omega members, a Latina-based sorority at the University of Houston Downtown, were seen dancing to the music on campus in a now viral video.

Video of the dance was posted to X on Wednesday and has since amassed more than 41,000 likes and 5,000 comments.

‘Black people really are the blueprint. Exhibit A…,’ Ashley Miller, who shared the video, said. “S— like this is downright stealing. There’s no reason for a non-Black sorority to be stepping.’

Strolling or stepping is commonly known as a traditional celebratory dance that started in the 1900s by black Greek-letter organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha, or AKA, the first historically African American sorority.

As Crime Mob’s ‘Knuck it if you buck’ plays in the background, the young women dance about in the clip, which was originally posted to TikTok before being shared on X.

The video starts with the sorority members in a circle dancing to the hip-hop song.

Some of the girls are seen dressed in casual outfits, paired with white and green Greek letter jackets, while others don formal wear, including heels and dresses.

At the start of the clip, the girls step in a circle before then turn around and twerk toward the camera.

Member’s in the inner-circle then move their bodies and swing their hands as others outside the circle stomp around.

About 15 seconds into the video, a girl with long red hair, dressed in light blue jeans, a navy t-shirt and white Converse sneakers, swiftly joins the dance.

As they continue to perform, the crowd cheers them on.

Girls in vibrant purple jackets then take over the screen and stomp in a circle while the crowd claps along before the video ends.

‘This just looks so awkward… no shade,’ a commenter wrote.

Another said: ‘They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery but in this case I don’t agree.’

‘It was the effort for me but it’s still a no,’ another person said.

Although many people didn’t agree with the Gamma Alpha Omega’s performance, others defended the sorority.

A viewer replied to Miller’s claim and asked: ‘The blueprint of WHAT exactly?’

Another asked: ‘Shouldn’t we appreciate it when other cultures repeat practices that belong to our culture? Should we always feel offended, criticize or make mockery of it?’

Gama Alpha Omega told DailyMail.com that the sorority ‘acknowledges the concerns raised by the recent video.’

‘We understand that strolling and stepping are deeply rooted in the traditions of Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) and hold significant cultural and historical importance within the African American community,’ the sorority added.

‘As a multicultural service-based organization, we strive to promote inclusivity, cultural appreciation, and mutual respect among diverse communities.’

‘We regret any offense caused and sincerely apologize for any perceived disrespect towards BGLO traditions. Our intent was never to appropriate but to celebrate a form of expression that we admire and has been shared by BGLOs as part of the founding of some of our chapters.’

The sorority added that they are ‘dedicated to ensuring’ that their ‘actions align’ with their values of cultural appropriation, respect and unity.

‘We will take steps to avoid such misunderstandings in the future and to honor the rich cultural histories that shape our diverse organization.’

According to the sorority’s website, the group ‘has created a lifelong sisterhood and network of support’ for about 30 years.

The Greek organization, which has both fraternities and sororities, was founded at Arizona State University.

The sorority at the University of Houston Downtown is ‘dedicated to advancing women in the world, our founders’ vision has grown to serve more countless members nationwide.’

Stepping and strolling originated from black Greek-letter Organizations which were created during a time African Americans were not accepted by many sororities.

As a way to uplift each other, black students came together at predominantly white universities to create their own.

Presently, there are nine black Greek-letter organizations that represent the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also known as the Divine Nine.

The philanthropic groups ‘have an impact on community service and civic engagement, through outreach programs that include literacy, professional development and voter registration,’ according to the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

The University of Houston Downtown has several Greek-letter organizations on campus, including fraternities and sororities that belong to the Divine Nine.