Black Haze

Violence, Sacrifice, and Manhood in Black Greek-Letter Fraternities

By Ricky L. Jones

Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Paperback : 9780791459768, 176 pages, January 2004
Hardcover : 9780791459751, 176 pages, January 2004

Table of contents

PREFACE

1. THE PROBLEM AT HAND

 

Concern, Change, and Questions
The Influence of the Ancient and Modern World on Black Greek Violence
Falsehoods and Failure: The Epistemic Domino Effect and Ethics in Greekdom

 

2. OLD PROBLEM, NEW APPROACH

 

Habermas, the Public Sphere, and a Critical Approach to the Media

 

Problems with Habermas

 

BGFs, Social Movements, and Identity
The Politics of Personal Involvement: Gazing through Fraternity Men's Eyes

 

3. THE HISTORY OF BLACK GREEK-LETTER FRATERNITIES

 

American Greek-Letter Fraternalism
Black Entrance into American College Life

 

The Exclusion of Blacks from White Greek Life

 

The Founding of Black Greek-Letter Fraternities

 

Alpha Phi Alpha
Kappa Alpha Psi
Omega Psi Phi
Phi Beta Sigma
Iota Phi Theta

 

BGFs' Political Involvement
The Depoliticalization of BGFs

 

4. THE PLEDGE PROCESS AS SACRIFICE

 

Violence Vehicles: Rituals as Social Stabilizers
The Commonalities of Modern Fraternity Ritual
Hazing and the Symbolic Journey
The Lure of Liminality: The Ritualistic Remaking of the Self

 

5. THE HEGEMONIC STRUGGLE AND DOMINATION IN BLACK GREEK-LETTER FRATERNITIES

 

Violence, Power, Hegemony, and Domination
Educated Gangs? To Pledge or Not to Pledge
Conservatism and Domination
BGF Ruling Blocs and the Membership Intake Epidemic

 

6. ACCEPTANCE, FREEDOM, AND IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION IN BLACK GREEK-LETTER FRATERNITIES

 

Formations of the Black Male Self

 

Economic Anxiety
Black Identity Fragmentation

 

The Self, Selves, and the Victory of Consent

 

Akrasia and Choice

 

Substitution of the Fraternal Self

 

7. BEYOND THE FRATERNAL SELF

APPENDIX

NOTES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

The first book solely devoted to the subject of black fraternity hazing.

Description

As a fraternity member, past chapter president, and former national committee representative, Ricky L. Jones is uniquely qualified to write about the sometimes deadly world of black fraternity hazing. Examining five major black Greek-letter fraternities, Jones maintains that hazing rituals within these fraternities are more deeply ingrained, physically violent, and imbued with meaning to their participants than the initiation rites of other ethnic groups.

Because they do not see themselves as having the same political, social, and economic opportunities as other members of society, black fraternities and their members have come to see the ability to withstand physical abuse as the key ingredient in building and defining manhood. According to Jones, hazing in black fraternities is a modern manifestation of sacrificial ritual violence that has existed since ancient times, and the participants view such rituals as an important tool in the construction of individual and collective black male identity.

Ricky L. Jones is Associate Professor and Chair of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville.