A Very Subjective List of the Black Greek-Letter Organizations Each Black Panther Character Would Have Pledged


Black Panther is the official movie of Black History Month 2018—but after I watched the movie, a nagging question lurked in the back of my mind.


I’m a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, and for some reason, I incessantly ask myself which black Greek-letter organization would characters in films and TV shows join. Perhaps it is my philosophical training. In my discipline, we do thought experiments. Meaning, we ask hypothetical questions in an attempt to get at a deeper truth. Last year, I did that with HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Word on these cyber streets is that a few Kappas tried to claim that T’Challa would have carried a cane. I understand why. With a film dripping with melanin like Black Panther, it makes sense that black Greeks would see the character traits and see a bit of themselves in these heroic figures. However, we need to set the record straight. Below ...

1. Nakia

She is beautiful. She is mysterious. She has a million different hairstyles. She is loyal to the king, but she refuses to commit to T’Challa. Only an AKA could make a bazillionaire king who has the nicest ride on the planet walk around with his nose wide open. Curving guys is what AKAs do. I’m pretty sure it’s in their constitution.

2. Okoye

A fierce warrior and brilliant tactician who, when it came time to decide what to do at a moment of national crisis, followed the Wakandan version of Robert’s Rules of Order. Okoye only wears sorority paraphernalia and is always with her line sisters, who are all collectively on a natural-hair journey. She would have been a Delta.


3. Shuri

The precocious little sister of the king is, to my mind, the smartest person in the Marvel Universe. She may also turn out to be the most important. (Read Reginald Hudlin’s run of the comic.) She is sarcastic, but cool under pressure. After graduating from Wakanda University’s engineering program, Shuri pursued a degree in all the STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) fields. The princess of Wakanda would have joined Sigma Gamma Rho.


4. Ramonda

Regal and wise, the queen of Wakanda is a woman who does not suffer fools. Stylish with beautiful, graying locs, Ramonda reminds me of a seasoned Zeta who visits the yard frequently because she is now a widow and keeps the young Zetas in line. Plus, Ramonda made Black Panther’s purple drank from scratch, and we know all Zetas can cook.


5. T’Challa

I’m not saying this because I’m a member, but the king would be an Alpha. Brilliant, empathetic, slightly nerdy, in love with the color black and awkward around beautiful women. Plus, T’Challa was the president of Wakanda’s NPHC and wanted his kingdom to be involved in a lot of community service—yeah, that’s us.


6. N’Jadaka (Killmonger)

Did y’all see the jacket and glasses this dude had on at the beginning of the movie? You see how he was, shall we say, a slayer of women? Notice his proclivity to wear no shirt with flashy, royal attire? Did you notice how his hair was ALWAYS laid—even when he was fighting in water? Instead of a priceless artifact, he kept his eyes on a beautiful mask. In fact, Killmonger’s entire existence in the movie was outfit-based. That nigga pretty; you read between the lines.


7. M’Baku

This is obvious. The leader of the Jabari Tribe would be a Que. Even the actor who plays M’Baku agrees that he would’ve been a Que. Not an Omega Man; a Que. In fact, that whole damn tribe is a tribe of Que Dawgs. They never wear shirts; they enter every party by barking; they love to fight; but, at their core, they are good-hearted, loyal brothers.


And, of course, the Jabari didn’t care that they got kicked off the yard.

8. W’Kabi

A royal adviser and head of security for the nation’s border tribe, W’Kabi is an important member of Wakanda’s inner circle. He is always lurking in the background, paying close attention to events as they unfold. His loyalty to family can, at times, do more harm than good—and he is awfully fond of the color blue. He would have been a Sigma.


9. Zuri

He is important to the story, but he wasn’t around much. The only reason people knew that Zuri was in a fraternity is that he showed up any time the other frats had an event. (Kanye shrug)



With his love of hip-hop and sociopathic tendencies, Klaue is a member of a white Greek organization at an Ivy League university.


A fish out of water who is deeply intrigued by the people and customs of Wakanda, Agent Ross is an upper-middle-class graduate student of African-American studies who is too afraid to join a BGLO but attends every event. He’s the quintessential white ally.

See you at the movies. I’ll be the one wearing a black-and-old-gold dashiki.

Lawrence is a philosopher of race at his day job and a curator of dopeness when time allows. Words in The New York Times, Slate Magazine, and others. Email him at law.writes@gmail.com


Reclaiming My Time

NONE. Because they are too powerful in their blackness to need to borrow from another culture’s (“Greek”) legacy for anything. Yes, I am a killjoy today!