Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry opened an investigation following a party hosted by USC’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity on Jan. 26. The theme of the party was “Black Friday.” A sign on the front of the house said “for the culture,” a reference to the popular saying “do it for the culture,” an expression common among Black youth. Photos from the party revealed the name “Jemimah” spray painted on the side of a table in the house, alluding to Aunt Jemima, a negative stereotype of Black women. Students who attended the party also saw fraternity members wearing basketball jerseys.
Delta Tau Delta members said the party was not racially charged and feel wrongfully attacked. The fraternity did not release an official statement, but treasurer Mario Blanco told the Daily Trojan that the “fraternity places a great value on cultural diversity and respect.”
Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry opened an investigation in to the accusations, saying that there will be consequences if they find any wrongdoing. Carry referenced the USC Principals of Community, which maintains that ignorance is not an excuse for inappropriate behavior.
"Even if the organizers did not start out meaning to offend, the result is offensive," Carry said.
College parties have been making headlines across the country for their racial insensitivity. In 2017, the Kappa Sigma chapter at Baylor University threw a party where the theme was advertised as "Cinco de Mayo," and even "Cinco de Drinko." Students reported seeing attendees dressed as maids and construction workers.
At Delta Tau Delta's party, some students reported that they didn't see anything out of the ordinary, and assumed the theme referred to the black lights.