"Stepping" — a dance form defined by clapping and stomping — has long been a staple of African American sororities. So when an all-white team took first place (and $100,000 in scholarships) at the Sprite Step Off competition, a traditionally all-black event, cries of cultural theft erupted. College fraternalism expert Lawrence C. Ross Jr. calls the surprise result "the first assault on yet another African-American cultural tradition." Others, however, welcome the win by University of Arkansas' Zeta Tau Alpha as a breakthrough for equality. In an apparent effort to cool the controversy, Sprite later announced a "scoring discrepancy" on Facebook, and declared the outcome a tie, awarding an additional $100,000 prize to the black Alpha Kappa Alpha Tau team. Watch Zeta Tau Alpha's "Matrix"-inspired performance below:
Should whites stop 'stepping'?
Should whites be allowed to step? Stepping out
March 6, 2010
Try 4 Risk-Free Issues of The Week magazine.