A Black student shared on social media that she created a majorette team at the University of Southern California, but swiftly sparked debate over how, or if, HBCU culture should be shared with Predominately White Institutions (PWIs).
On Sunday (September 18), Twitter user @princesslang0 boasted about forming The Cardinal Divas of SC and showed off the team’s first performance in a video that has now gone viral.
“Oh nothing… I created a majorette team at a PWI and performed at our first game,” the student wrote on Twitter alongside an eight-second clip of the squad performing as a crowd of USC fans cheered in the background.
While some social media users praised the student for her innovation, many others were critical of the creator for bringing an experience unique to Black colleges to a PWI.
“Happy for you genuinely… But leave Black things at Black institutions,” one Twitter user said.
“This is an HBCU-style dance team created at a PWI,” another chimed in. “The problem with trying to create HBCU culture at PWIs is HBCUs don’t benefit from it or get credit for it. And…like everything else, the white majority there will eventually take it and claim it was ALWAYS theirs.”
Others suggested that the student should have chosen to attend an HBCU if she wanted to be on a majorette team.
Amid the backlash, the student was applauded by some Twitter users who appreciated her efforts to integrate Black culture into a predominately white space.
“Culture isn’t restricted to HBCUs. Culture is for us wherever we go,” one user wrote.
“To everyone against this: Black people carry the culture. not a Black space. we have to stop thinking that because Black people are in white spaces that they must assimilate to those spaces,” another said.