If you attended an HBCU or even just visited one during homecoming season, then you’ve probably witnessed the exciting, influential power of the organizations referred to as “D9” or “The Divine Nine.”
The Divine Nine is the moniker for the only nine black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs) primarily dedicated to inducting and assisting young, rising members of the black community. Obviously, we understand that Greek life is prevalent on many college campuses, from HBCUs to predominantly white institutions. But you cannot deny that there is nothing sweeter than seeing your favorite fraternity or sorority strut their best stuff on a campus swimming with black and brown faces, like yours and mine.
At HBCUs, the family-based culture thrives on events like tailgates, homecoming, and other football classics, as well as step shows and probates. These are the moments where students and alumni convene to celebrate our blackness — our power and our resilience — in song and dance. (Hello, swag surf!)
For BGLO members, a highly popularized form of expression and celebration is called “strolling.” Similar to the popular line dances initiated at BBQs or wedding receptions, a stroll is a group routine created by members of a fraternity or sorority to represent their respective organization. Greeks use anything from popular dances and songs to organization-specific calls, hand signs, steps and more to choreograph these elite moves, which are ultimately passed down from line to line, generation to generation.
Full disclosure: Sorry, GDIs — strolling is not all-inclusive. The members of these Greek organizations have earned the right to rep their set in step, so let’s remember to respect their sacred traditions. In other words, if you're not Greek, don't try this at home!
From the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s hair flip to the barks and hops of the men of Omega Psi Phi, here are my nine all-time favorite Greek stroll moments from The Divine Nine.
1. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Source: Youtube | Beta Delta Alphas
2. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Source: Youtube | EmmanuelPierrePortraits
3. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Source: Youtube | $waggyKick$
4. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Source: Youtube | Malcolm Odum
5. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Source: Youtube | Marvin Price
6. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Source: Youtube | Howard Sigmas
7. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Source: Youtube | Alli Hayes
8. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Source: Youtube | NPHC Coordinator
9. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
Source: Youtube | B-Up Iotas
What are some of your favorite strolls? Drop them in the comments below!