“There’s Black People Here?” The Experiences of Black Alumnae in National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Sororities


  • Shaleeah R. Smith Appalachian State University, USA
  • Masha Krsmanovic University of Southern Mississippi, USA




Black women, critical race theory, sorority


Utilizing Critical Race Theory as the guiding framework, this study portrayed the essence of Black women’s experiences and motivations in joining National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities. The findings illustrated that participants chose to join an NPC sorority for the social aspect and due to a lack of knowledge of culturally based sororities. Additionally, upon reflecting on their experiences, participants shared they may not make the same decision again. Participants’ experiences as Black women in NPC organizations were further characterized by them neglecting their racial identities while in these organizations and regaining them upon graduation. This study discussed implications from the obtained findings and offered suggestions to help create more equitable and inclusive experiences for Black women who join historically white sororities


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Author Biographies

Shaleeah R. Smith, Appalachian State University, USA

SHALEEAH R. SMITH, EdD, is an Associate Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at Appalachian State University. Her major research interests lie in the area of fraternity and sorority life and diversity. Email: smithsr12@appstate.edu

Masha Krsmanovic, University of Southern Mississippi, USA

MASHA KRSMANOVIC, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her major research interests lie in the area of teaching and learning, student success, and first-year students. Email: masakrsmanovic@gmail.com.



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