A week celebrating black culture on campus kicked into gear - with step dancing.
UMOJA Week, several days of events celebrating black heritage, will continue until Saturday. The events are organized by UMOJA, Penn’s umbrella organization for black student groups.
The Gamma Epsilon Philadelphia City Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated hosted its annual step show “Backgrounds in Stepping” last night in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall. Black Greek letter sororities and fraternities performed dance routines and songs that celebrated their organizations’ history and traditions.
“It’s an iconic part of the Divine Nine organizations and something really special just to show pride to your [organization],” AKA President and College senior Kalyne Coleman said.
Several of the organizations performed for the audience. The Mighty Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated performed first, and its members opened with a song describing their love for the organization. They performed a high-energy step routine and choreographed dance.
Chief Dean of the PAACC Conference of Alpha Michael Larmond said that performing is an important way for the nine black Greek organizations of the National Panhellenic Council - also known as the “Divine Nine” - to celebrate their traditions.
“Stepping and displaying stepping to people outside of the D9 and outside of our fraternity - it’s very important to us because tradition is very important to us and we like to keep tradition alive,” Larmond said.
Several members of the Delta Eta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated and the Mu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated also performed, encouraged by the audience’s cheers.
Women also represented their sororities at the event. Dressed in crimson and cream, the women of the Glorious Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated performed a high energy step routine and a call and response that celebrated their 101st anniversary. The AKAs also performed.
“Stepping is how we show pride in our organizations and pay homage to those who came before us. It is a very important part of the Divine Nine organizations, and there are step shows across the country where these individual organizations showcase their steps and styles,” AKA Vice President Edithmia Davies said.
The event was well-attended and students from different minority organizations came out to support the black Greek letter organizations.