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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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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 27 November 2020

. Passive Activism

. Passive Activism

African American Fraternities and Sororities and the Push for Civil Rights

(p.26) (p.27) 2. Passive Activism
Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0

Marybeth Gasman

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the contributions of black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs) to the civil rights movement as well as the contradictions in their fight for civil rights for African Americans. It looks at the story of black fraternities and sororities in the civil rights struggle, with an emphasis on their activist and leadership roles. It provides examples of agency—the ability of historical players to act on their own behalf— on the part of BGLOs and considers accusations of passivity against BGLOs—that they did not advocate progress and change due to materialism, elitism, and complacency. It also discusses the BGLOs’s challenges to and endorsements of government policies concerning the African American agenda, how they attempted to make change during the civil rights era by educating the masses, and financing of the cause of civil rights. The chapter concludes by highlighting the internal critique experienced by BGLOs from leaders and members and external critique from black intellectuals.

Keywords:   black Greek-letter organizations, civil rights movement, African Americans, fraternities, sororities, agency, materialism, elitism, government policies, financing

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