Publication Date

September 2011



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This study examined how stereotypes among alumnae members of historically Black sororities affected their experiences as both undergraduate and graduate members. This research contributes to the literature on skin color bias and to the stereotypes of Black women. For the majority of women we surveyed for this research, the myths and stereotypes surrounding skin color bias, intra-racial group relations, beauty, and femininity of different historically Black sororities influenced the initial perceptions of members in each group. The findings include some commonality among stereotypes about the oldest sororities (Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta), yet stereotypes about the other organizations (Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho) varied due to age, college life experience, and the geographic location of the interviewees. Implications and considerations for future research are included.