A Space of Their Own Color: Black Greek Letter Organizations at UNO

Located on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, the University of New Orleans looks very much like a typical college campus. Yet the history behind this university is one of distinction, hostility, and resistance.

First opened in 1958 as the Louisiana State University in New Orleans, UNO had the distinction of being both the first public university in New Orleans and first public university to open as integrated. Yet despite its racially integrated student body, African American students at UNO have faced hostilities from its earliest days to the present time. From cross burnings, intimidation tactics, unfair grading, restricted spaces, there was much done to make African American students unwelcomed.

It is in this environment that Black Greek Letter Organizations organized for the benefit of African American students in this predominantly White and hostile space. 55 African American students broke the color barrier of higher public education in New Orleans.

Dawn of a New Tradition: Black Greek Letter Organizations

On a stroll around most college campuses, you may see students wearing shirts, hoodies, and sweaters with a number of letters from Greek alphabets in a variety of colors. These students are members of Greek letter fraternities and sororities,…

A Way of Their Own: Black Greek Organizations at UNO

Black Greek letter organizations at UNO play an essential role for African American students as they do across the nation. Black Greek organizations provide a safe space for African Americans where communal bonds form, perform service and activism…
Related Sources

Brasted, Chelsea. “61 Years Later, For the African-Americans who Integrated LSUNO, Memories Still Sting.” Times Picayune (New Orleans, LA), January 19, 2019. Accessed January 19, 2019. https://www.nola.com/opinions/2019/01/61-years-later-for-the-african-americans-who-integrated-lsuno-memories-still-sting.html.

Dupont, Robert. On Higher Ground: The University of New Orleans at 50. New Orleans: UNO Press, 2008.

“LSU Board ‘Taunts’ 53 Negro Students.” Louisiana Weekly (New Orleans, LA), September 20, 1958. Microfilm, Roll 9. Will W. Alexander Library, Dillard University, New Orleans.