On his album, The Blueprint III, Jay-Z rhymes on the song, “What We Talkin’ About”: “What we talkin’ ’bout, fiction or we talkin’ ’bout fact? You talkin’ ’bout fiction? Hold up; pardon my back.” Unfortunately, that’s often how I feel–as one of the few academics, and only law professor, who researches and writes about black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs)–when I hear most people “talkin’ ’bout” BGLO hazing. This is National Hazing Prevention Week, and my hope is that this week there will be some serious and informed dialogue within and outside BGLOs about hazing. I am, however, not optimistic.
On 19 November 2011, Robert Champion, a 26 year-old, African American drum major in Florida A&M University’s “Marching 100” band, collapsed on a charter bus and died as a result of hazing. Over the past ten months, commentators, critics, and concerned citizens have wondered and opined about why hazing persists within student culture. Many have focused — if not more, without question differently — on black student groups vis-a-vis their white counterparts, with physical violence seen as the main issue for the former and substance abuse the latter.
Read more at BlackVoices
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