This weekend was a glorious weekend for college students, as many were granted their diplomas after a particularly trying year. The first semester of the year was difficult for students as they dealt with the COVID-19 crisis, and primarily finished out their college experience online. But, ESSENCE had HBCU students’ backs, and partnered with Chase to give grads the virtual walk of a lifetime, complete with a sweet message speech from the one and only, President Barack Obama. Another one of the standout sections of the online event was a tribute to the Divine 9.
The Divine 9 are the Black fraternities and sororities that are apart of the National Pan-Hellenic council. They include: Alpha Phi Alpha (fraternity,) Kappa Alpha Psi (fraternity,) Iota Phi Theta (fraternity) Omega Psi Phi (fraternity,) Delta Sigma Theta (sorority), Alpha Kappa Alpha (sorority), Phi Beta Sigma (fraternity,) Zeta Phi Beta (sorority) and Sigma Gamma Rho (sorority.) These fraternities and sororities have a century’s worth of history behind them, and were famously spotlighted by Beyoncé during her 2018 Coachella performance.
The core of the tribute was stepping, a dance style that pulls from South African routines and military drill. Stepping has become a staple in battles between sororities and fraternities, and it was beautiful to see the tradition honored in this way.
Watch the Divine 9 tribute below.