Majorette Team at a PWI

  A Black student at the University of Southern California created the first majorette team at any predominantly white institution in the country, and she’s receiving a lot of backlash for it. Princess Isis Lang is the name of the student attending University of Southern California who is twenty years old and a musical theater major created the Cardinal Divas. HBCUs, otherwise known as a Historically Black college or university have a history of majorette teams performing at their football games and other sports events. HBCU majorette dancing includes dance styles from West African culture, like hip-hop, step, bucking, and even jazz. Many would argue that majorette at HBCUs is popular because of superstar Beyoncé and her Netflix concert film Homecoming  displays Beyoncé’s love for majorette. But when this admirable dance style is taken out of HBCUs and placed into schools that are predominantly white, does it destroy the entire experience for Black students attending HBCUs? Is it once again another thing white people just had to have?

  The majorette team created at USC is composed of only Black women but the Black community is still fighting over whether or not this was the right move. An online debate occurred on Twitter when  Lang posted the Cardinal’s dancing and stated, “oh nothing… I  created a majorette team at a PWI and performed at our first game. Truly though I’m so blessed and can’t thank God enough. Thank you to my parents and to everyone who supported me along this LONG  journey. And my girls FYE The Cardinals Divas of SC are UP NEXT.” This was posted September 18 of 2022, and not long after the  post tweets came rolling in bringing their opinions with them.

   Many of the tweets were upset by this action taken by Lang stating, “Happy for you genuinely… but leave Black things at Black institutions,” while another Twitter user said, “This is an HBCU-style dance team created at a PWI”. Another person stated, “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.”  

  While many people on Twitter were taken back by majorette dancing at USC other Twitter users applauded Lang for her achievements. “Culture isn’t restricted to HBCUs. Culture is for us wherever we go.” Another user stated, “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.” So, while there is still an ongoing debate on Twitter over whether or not Princess Lang made the right decision, a majorette team has already been created  and will probably continue to run at that school. Now, with the first majorette team being created at a PWI, does this mean more schools will have majorette teams performing at their games? Will Black students stop going to HBCUs and attend PWIs for the same experience? 

Whether or not the users of Twitter come to a halt with their comments on this talk of university concerning HBCUS and PWIs, Princess Isis Lang goes down in university history as the first student to create a majorette team at a PWI and may have just paved the way for more of these dance teams to appear all over the country!