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Alpha Phi Alpha hosts Alphageddon

April 30, 2015

 

RACHEL MAXWELL
Staff Reporter

 

It is not often that the Thomas Assembly Center sees performances quite like that presented in this year’s Alphageddon step show. From police brutality to a performance that included steppers as young as 9 years old, the step show had a bit of everything.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Golden Steppers celebrated after they won the grand prize at Alphageddon.  Photo by: Brian Blakely

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Golden Steppers celebrated after they won the grand prize at Alphageddon. Photo by: Brian Blakely

 

Alphageddon, an annual step show hosted by Tech’s Eta Kappa chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, brings step teams from other universities, including Northwestern State University, University of Louisiana at Monroe and Grambling, to Tech to compete. This year, the $1,500 grand prize went to ULM’s chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Golden Steppers, the elementary school team the fraternity teamed up with.

 

Gary Jackson, a teacher at Bardull Faulk Elementary and coach of the Golden Steppers, said the team’s victory reinforced his belief that the Steppers is a good thing for the elementary students.

 

“I stepped for Alpha while I was at ULM, and it was an inspiration for me,” he said. “It keeps the students focused. I saw a need for that at Bardull Faulk, so I started a team.”

 

Jackson said that he wanted to instill in his team, which ranges from third to sixth grade students, the same values he saw in his Alpha brotherhood during college.

 

“We teach them the values of brotherhood, and they have to keep their grades up to compete,” he said. “I think it shows. Every stepper up there tonight has kept his focus in school, and they really are a family.”

 

Jordan Johnson, age 9, said victory was nothing new for the Golden Steppers.

Members of Grambling State University’s Iota Phi Theta fraternity performed a helicopter formation during the step show.  Photo by: Brian Blakely

Members of Grambling State University’s Iota Phi Theta fraternity performed a helicopter formation during the step show. Photo by: Brian Blakely

 

“All of the performances I’ve been in, we’ve won,” he said. “It’s normal.”

 

The other half of the victorious team, ULM’s Alpha Phi Alphas, share more than values with their young counterparts. Devonte Grinstead, a graduate student at ULM and stepper, said they all share a love for performing.

 

“I was nervous at first, but once you get onstage, all the nerves leave you,” he said. “I love to perform, so it’s always fun.”

 

Between performances, there were audience chants, amateur performances and stroll-offs between Greek organizations. However, the evening did not begin lightheartedly.

 

The brothers of Tech’s Kappa Kappa Psi opened the show with a serious message. The steppers portrayed controversial scenes including the Michal Brown shooting and Eric Garner’s chokehold case. The steppers also shed light on the shootings of police officers, and the violence that erupted during protests in Ferguson.

 

LeDarious Jones, a junior mechanical engineering major, said the performance, which ended with police and protesters holding hands peacefully, was a way for the fraternity to put important issues in the spotlight.

 

“We wanted to do something more meaningful,” he said. “Even though we don’t face those issues as much here, they are important, and we need to understand that if it does come our way, we need to handle it right.”

 

Email comments to  ram049@latech.edu.

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