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A Call to Rescue My Sisters: The Case Against the Show “Sorority Sisters”
By By: Dr. Valerie Wardlaw Freelance Writer
Published December 19, 2014

 

     This opinion piece is not written against any individual sorority member featured on the reality show “Sorority Sisters.”  It is important that I say this upfront. This piece is a call to action:  to rescue my sisters from reality land who seemingly will say anything about our organizations in pursuit of fame and fortune.

     Fame and money are not in-and-of itself bad.  I respect your hustle and your desire to make your way in the world but not at the expense of sisterhoods that you profess to love.  I encourage all sisters to be bold and fearless in their pursuits but not when those endeavors become heat-seeking missiles destroying anything and everything in its path.  And that is what this show attempts to do. 

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     This show portrays members of our organizations as petty, insolent women who talk trash, diminish and threaten each other all in the name of our glorious sisterhoods.  But where is the glory when your attempts to show who is ‘best and baddest’ results in providing fodder for those who would believe that women, especially African American women, are incapable of supporting and loving each other in a constructive and nurturing way.  Perhaps you have forgotten or never really understood that we as members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., stand united in our efforts to excel academically and professionally, to make a difference in the communities we serve and the world in which we live.

     Our rivalries (and I use that term loosely) are friendly but never mired in name-calling, property destruction and physical abuse.  We don’t ‘turn up’ to injure one another and we do not attempt to dim the lights of others just to make our organizations look good. 

     You must know that there are households and long-lasting friendships made up of combinations of Deltas, AKA’s, Sigma Gamma Rho’s, and Zeta Phi Beta’s.  And you do know without question that the Founders of these organizations envisioned members who would go about doing good and ‘holding each other down’ when the world becomes tough and difficult to navigate.  The sorority sisters I know celebrate our successes, show patience and respect for our differences, and shore each other up during those times of uncertainties and needs.  That is who we are…not perfect…but sisterhoods born out of a commitment to serving humankind, and rooted in commonality of purpose and love.

     I think we all agree that there is no love like that of a sister, biological or one based on choice of membership.  We all have made less than stellar choices and it is in those times that we expect our sisters to speak.  I’m sure you are wonderfully gifted and talented but this is not the way to showcase your precious gifts.  I know you have heard the old adage, ‘that all money isn’t good money’. I have faith that the right opportunities will come your way. 

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     So this letter is penned out of love for you with this firm commitment: that your sorority sister (and I suspect hundreds of others) will not stand silently by and let you present us to the world in a manner that is not befitting of our illustrious and glorious sisterhoods.  Will you heed my call?

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