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Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities Paperback – August, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0838640241 ISBN-10: 0838640249 Edition: annotated edition
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Editorial Reviews


"'Black Greek 101'... has an immense amount of information valuable to Greeks and non-Greeks alike." -- The Famuan, October 13, 2003

"... Kimbrough accomplishes a feat that few have dared: capture more than a peripheral snapshot of black Greek Life..." -- Black Issues Book Review, January-February 2004

"If you are interested in a thought-provoking discussion of the need for change.... this is a fascinating book." -- AFA Perspectives, Winter 2004

"The combination of Kimbrough's research and personal anecdotes result in an impressive publication." -- Hermes newspaper, September 9, 2003

"The history and traditions of black fraternities and sororities have been largely ignored by scholars and the mainstream media..." -- The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 31, 2003

"This book offers readers a compelling and succinct guide to historically African American fraternities and sororities." -- NASPA Leadership Exchange, Spring 2004

About the Author

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough currently serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia. He is the youngest Chief Student Affairs Officer in the University System of Georgia, and one of the youngest nation-wide. Prior to Albany State, he served at Old Dominion University, Georgia State University and Emory University.

After graduating from the Benjamin E. Mays High School and Academy of Math and Science in Atlanta as the Salutatorian and Student Body President in 1985, Dr. Kimbrough earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Degree from the University of Georgia in 1989. He continued his education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, completing a Master of Science Degree in 1991, and in 1996 he earned the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Higher Education from Georgia State University.

Dr. Kimbrough has a long history of professional, community and civic involvement. A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at the University of Georgia, he has served the fraternity as the Southern Region Assistant Vice President and member of the Board of Directors.

Dr. Kimbrough has forged a national reputation as an expert on historically Black fraternities and sororities. He has conducted interviews with national publications including Associated Press, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone Magazine. A nationally renowned speaker and lecturer, Dr. Kimbrough has given presentations at over 100 universities and 90 conferences.

Dr. Kimbrough was the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region during the 1987-88 school year. He was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year for the Association of Fraternity Advisors, and was a 2001 Nissan-ETS HBCU Fellow. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; annotated edition edition (August 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0838640249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0838640241
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Edward Williams Jr. on June 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is indeed something aspiring males and females interested in NPHC organizations should consider purchasing, and I'm going to explain why.

I'm sure African American students attending predominently Black colleges have seen the Black Greek-Letter Organizations (Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Iota Phi Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho) around their campuses repping their organization with jackets fancied with Greek letters, nicknames, colors, and numbers, as well as these organizations "throwing up" hand signs, and shouting out calls while stepping during parties. You've probably seen Kappas carrying canes, and have heard the AKAs ear-piercing "Skee Wee", or Sigmas "Blu Phi" day in and out.

This book thoroughly explains the reasoning and history behind what has become apart of Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLO) culture today. It talks about the evolution of hazing and pledgind, distinguishing the two. It brings some terms to pass that you might have heard around your campuses (i.e. Nupes, Ques, paper, Skaters, Neos, frats, sorors, etc). It also explains and attempts to date the history of stepping, and why these organizations throw up hand signs and shout out calls.

The author does a fine job of taking us back to the VERY first BGLO (not Alpha Phi Alpha), composed of an elite class of African Americans. It also explains why Alpha Phi Alpha has become accepted as the first BGLO despite the previous several organizations before it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "kaycee5" on February 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was very pleased to see Dr. Kimbrough's book on Black Greek organizations. I think that his research is ground breaking, but it is also just the tip of the iceberg as far as scholarly research on Black Greek organizations goes. Anyone who is a member of a Black Greek organization, considering membership, or acts in an advisory role to these organizations should read this book. It will provide a historical and cultural view into many of the traditions and customs of Black Greek life...but the story is also to be continued. Therefore, just as Dr. Kimbrough does in the conclusion of this text, I encourage researchers to continue to conduct scholarly research in this area.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rich Black on June 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is great in explaining the history of how each Greek organization came to be what it is today. I like the way the author breaks down each aspect of Greek life. This is a book that everyone should read who is aspiring to know more about becoming a Greek; who is interested in joining a Black fraternity or sorority. Also, I recommend Divine Nine. Read the reviews; you'll see why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr4Hearts91 on October 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a big [yes, you can say "anal"] stickler on books that claim to be scholarly reviews or critiques about their chosen subjects. Can't help myself there, b/c I was raised by a Howard University Delta alum who's an English/American History professor. So when I first read this book, on the recommendation of brothers of a certain fraternity I am considering joining at the alumni level, I was a little skeptical.

My skepticism was real, but not necessary here. The author skillfully weaves together facts and history, pulling no punches in his arguments, and backing them up with historical documents and excellent referencing. That's the kind of thing, referencing, that a book like this must have--otherwise it becomes nothing but an opinionated piece of crap.

If you have any interest in becoming a part of the Divine Nine, you should read this book and see how the history of the organizations has unfolded and evolved, as seen from a third-party point of view. Of course, one can argue that the author, being a member of one of the organizations, has some level of bias. That is true by default, of course. But it's a miniscue amount of bias, in my opinion. The author clearly intended to show the good, bad, and ugly of all the organizations, and he succeeded.

Check it out...Check, check, check it out...
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have not had the privelege of reading the book in its entirety, but the pieces I've read and the comments that i have heard about it have all been positive. Knowledge is power and educating ourselves is nothing less than empowerment.
Also, alot of people have misconceptions of BGLOs (black greek letter organizations). Some people go round and round in circles using big fancy words just to come to the conclusion that BGLO's are gangs of immature monsters who thrive off of hazing. All I have to say is that each organization has chapters that are representations of the organization, but essentially are just part of the whole; therefore it is unfair to judge an organization by the actions of 1, 2, or how ever many chapters. Not all chapters are the same and not all greeks are the same.
BGLOs do alot of positive whether you see it (hear or believe for that matter) or not, but that kind of stuff never makes the headlines...Does it? That's not up for discussion, is it?
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