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Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0New Directions in the Study of African American Fraternities and Sororities$
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Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781604739213

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604739213.001.0001

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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

(p.191) 10. “You Make the Letters. The Letters Don’t Make You”
Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0

Matthew W. Hughey

University Press of Mississippi

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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