Believe it or not, Hollywood has always been obsessed with Black women and our culture.
Maybe obsessed is not the word… fetishized by how absolutely amazing we are. We are more than just a hashtag. And while #BlackGirlMagic is a cool idea… there is no such thing as hocus pocus when it comes down to Black women. We are intentional and our stories are more than sister-girl-fairy-dusted tropes. Thus, when we think about Black women and the very sensitive portrayal of their lives in sororities, one can’t help but take caution. Does Hollywood care to get it right? Or will sorors be portrayed as petty girls who are all elite snobs, looking for husbands in their brother frats.
We say “nope.”
Thank goodness three Black cinematic offerings, written or directed by Black filmmakers have gotten it right.
ONE: DO THE RIGHT THING
Many people were exposed to the thrills of Black College by watching Spike Lee’s School Daze in 1988. While it was filmed in the historic Atlanta University Center, this fictional school was a composite of the schools at the time that were housed in the consortium. At one time there were seven: The former Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clark College, Morris Brown College, Interdenominational Theological Center and Morehouse School of Medicine. School Daze presented them as Mission College and while you might think that the scenes being referenced regarding sorority life are “The Coronation” or the “Wannabe/ Jiggaboo” musicals… there is a more intimate moment that got Delta all the way right.
Do you remember when Dap and Rachel got into an argument in his room?
Rachel had shared with Dap that she wanted to pledge Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (like of course) and he tried to forbid it. She told him that she like what they were doing, that they were positive and about serving the community.
Old Spike got this all the way right! Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded on Jan. 13, 1913, 107 years ago. From the very beginning of her origins, the organization had scholarship, sisterhood, and service at its core. Rachel indeed would have been a great Delta at the fictional Mission College.
TWO: QUEEN SUGAR
There has to be someone on the staff that is either a Delta or Delta-ish, because there have been all kinds of Easter eggs throughout the seasons that point to the largest sorority in the world. Like that time that Mellisa Harris-Perry, a decorated member of Delta Sigma Theta, came on to chat it up with her soror, Nova Bordelon.
While they don’t say it, why wouldn’t she be one? Sure she has some deep-seated thangs going on, by Nova is a go-getter and the exceptional. She and her sister Charlie both ferociously attack social justice and civil rights with all of their hearts, and what makes us believe that is a “Crimson and Cream” family is all those African Violets planted all over the place. The African Violet is the official flower for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Yup… them two supposed to be Deltas in the show.
THREE: THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY
Oh, how this movie touched so many. Two of the characters, Shelby and Mia seem to be members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. It also appears that Mia’s husband, Lance is a member of Omega Psi Phi, the fraternity often linked as the brothers to Delta. Delta Sigma Theta has no official brothers… but many folk actually rock with this concept of “Coleman Love.” Don’t think so hard… a whole bunch of folk. Lance even has a conversation with the other men in the film about friendship being essential to the soul… Boom Pow!
But the most endearing part is when Mia transitioned and her “Sands” placed an African Violet on her casket.
Happy Founders Day to the beautiful women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Hope this made you smile on your day.