One of my all time favorite episodes of a different world highlights the intricacies, downfalls, upside, pain, and joys of joining a fraternity at a HBCU. In this episode Ron Johnson and Dwayne Wayne are coming to the end of their long journey pledging the Mighty Kappa Lamda Nu. The episode captures the essence of a long standing debate of why we decide to pledge. Ron, who is legacy (father is Greek) has high expectations while Dwayne is struggling to figure out if the process to join the brotherhood is for him, even more, is it worth the struggle?
I wish these were the type of episodes the mainstream public readily viewed, rather than the romanticized and essentialist images from movies like “Drumline” or “Stomp the Yard” “It’s Greek to Me” demonstrated how pledges dealt with managing time, managed relationships with those who were not joining a fraternity or sorority at the time, while placing heavy emphasis on a community service project. This episode proves that there can be a serious discussion about Greek life at HBCU’s without solely focusing on the stepping, as shown in this episode.
Watch the full episodes here