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. “You Make the Letters. The Letters Don’t Make You”

. “You Make the Letters. The Letters Don’t Make You”

The Construction of Memory and Identity in Stomp the Yard

Chapter:
(p.191) 10. “You Make the Letters. The Letters Don’t Make You”
Source:
Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0
Author(s):
Matthew W. Hughey
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604739213.003.0010

This chapter analyzes Stomp the Yard, a 2007 film by Sylvain White, and its construction of memory and identity. It argues that the film, which exemplifies “sounds and sophistication of stepping,” perpetuates a set of mythologies about race, class, urban settings, schools, and the memory of the civil rights movement. It also demonstrates how the film transforms these identities and memories into a kind of shallow and hallow commodity that dulls the sharp edge of black Greek-letter organizations’ past and present activism. Finally, it shows how racism, classism, and sexism are portrayed by the film as individual personality quirks or fraternal rivalry.

Keywords:   memory, Stomp the Yard, identity, schools, civil rights movement, black Greek-letter organizations, activism, racism, classism, sexism

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