TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Several prominent leaders in Alabama weighed in Friday on allegations that all-white sororities passed over two prospective black members because of pressure from alumnae, and in one case, an adviser.
Paul Bryant Jr., the president pro tem of the board of trustees and the son of legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, said the school does not support the segregation of any organization. Gov. Robert Bentley, an alumnus, reiterated that fraternal organizations should choose members based on their qualifications, not race.
The student newspaper, The Crimson-White, first reported the allegations this week. The story quoted at least one named sorority member and several other anonymous ones saying they wanted to invite the two black students to join, but were overridden.
One of the board’s trustees, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice John England Jr., confirmed his stepgranddaughter was one of the black students passed over during recruitment in August.
England said he was encouraged to see sorority members speaking out about what happened, but said he thought his ties to the university contributed to the attention the allegations are getting. One of England’s sons, Democratic state Rep. Chris England, of Tuscaloosa, is the student’s stepfather.
England, now a circuit judge in Tuscaloosa, said the discussion differs from the university’s segregationist past because of the willingness of sorority members to speak openly.
“We won’t allow organizations to deny admission to individuals because of their race. We just won’t permit that. Saying that is important,” England said.
University President Judy Bonner said the administration was working with sorority chapters and their national organizations to remove any barriers. “We are going to help our young people do the right thing,” she said.
Bentley said Thursday he talked had spoken with his wife, Dianne, who was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority at Alabama, one of four mentioned in the school newspaper article.
“She said it’s not the students, but the alumni,” the governor said.
The issue coincides with the university marking the 50th anniversary of its integration of Gov. George C. Wallace’s unsuccessful stand in the schoolhouse door to try to keep out two black students in 1963.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson also noted it comes as the school’s football team is ranked No. 1 nationally. Bear Bryant integrated Alabama’s football team in 1971.
“Alabama wouldn’t be No. 1 if it hadn’t opened the door,” the civil rights leader said. “The same door that opened for football players should open for young women.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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