Macy's faced backlash after calling a Black sorority with a 100-year-old legacy a 'diverse dance group'

Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc.)Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc.)
  • Macy’s was called out for referring to performers from a Black sorority as a “diverse dance group” during their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday, according to USA Today and The Grio.
  • Zeta Phi Beta is a Black sorority founded at Howard University in 1920.
  • Macy’s has since deleted the tweet and replaced it with a message that said, “We loved having @ZPHIBHQ– an international, historically Black Sorority.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Macy’s faced swift backlash after it referred to performers from a historically Black Greek life organisation as a “diverse dance group” during its annual Thanksgiving parade on Thursday.

Macy’s introduced the Centennial Steppers of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority, which was founded at Howard University in 1920, in a since-deleted tweet that said: “What’s that sound, you ask? Why it’s the diverse dance group, Zeta Phi Beta Steppers!,” according to USA Today and The Grio. The tweet drew swift backlash from users online.

In a follow-up tweet, Macy’s said, “We loved having @ZPHIBHQ — an international, historically Black Sorority.”

A spokesperson for Macy’s did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Thursday.

Referring to people of colour as “diverse” is a “dangerous step,”David Troutt, a professor of law at Rutgers Law School, wrote in an op-ed in OZY.

“Diversity-speak has turned me, a Black human, into a “diverse” person,” he wrote in OZY, adding that referring to people of colour as “diverse” is “a reminder that our presence reflects a racial compromise in which the indirect reference to White identity is embedded in the euphemistic label.”

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a television-only event with various safety measures in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, Insider’s Michelle Mark reported. The parade also included a land acknowledgment ritual for people of native tribes, Insider’s Ellen Cranley reported.

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