A Pledge with Purpose: Black Sororities and Fraternities and the Fight for Equality

New York Univ. Apr. 2020. 360p. ISBN 9781479823277. $35. ED
This title builds on Parks’s (Wake Forest Univ. Sch. Of Law; Uplifting the Race) multiple works on the subject of racial equality as well as his and Hughey’s (sociology, Univ. of Connecticut) previous collaboration, Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0. Here, the authors focus on the work and influence of the first eight Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLOs) in numerous areas including civil activism and civic education, public policy, philanthropy, and community organizing. The authors contextualize the BGLOs’ work within social and political milestones of the 20th century (the Harlem Renaissance and the early days of Jim Crow, the Depression, the Great Migration, the civil rights movement) and conclude with a potential roadmap of a future path. Though Parks’s work dominates the literature in this sphere, other publications examining these organizations through various lenses include Wendy Marie Laybourn and Devon R. Goss’s Diversity in Black Greek-Letter Organizations, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley’s Disciplining Women, Walter M. Kimbrough’s Black Greek 101, and Ricky L. Jones’s Black Haze.
VERDICT This comprehensive overview of BGLOs and their commitment to achieving socioeconomic equality for black Americans will appeal to readers wishing to learn about the African American collegiate experience throughout the 20th century.
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