*Lalah Hathaway was swiftly served a lesson in Panhellenic etiquette from Black Greeks after she was slammed for posting a selfie in an Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity hat to her Instagram account on Friday. The caption accompanying the pic said: “#daughterofAlpha #daughterofsoul” in honor of her late father, the iconic singer Donny Hathaway, who pledged the fraternity at Howard University in the ’60s. Lalah allegedly received the hat from a fan after a concert in Washington, D.C.
Despite the post being in honor of her father, Lalah was told she crossed the line by wearing the hat.
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“I’m sorry Lailah, but this isn’t yours to choose to wear,” one commenter said on Instagram “Bro. Hathaway belonged to a fraternity, something we all took oaths to uphold, and regardless of anyone’s connection to it, if you’re not a member, you don’t have a right to the privileges.”
Another said, “That’s not (respect,) that’s not what u do. Send a shout out or happy founders day. Wearing their gear is disrespectful #facts”
There were a few among the madness who defended the singer. “I respect members of greek, but not pettiness,” one commenter noted. “This clearly was not meant to be disrespectful. Some of these comments are very insensitive and unkind.”
One person even suggested Lalah seek advice and approval from the office of the organization, to get their thoughts on the photo.
Author Veronica Wells of MadameNoire addresses hatgate in her critique piece, writing: “I know the Greeks have their rules,” she says. “And I know they’re probably hoping that Lalah Hathaway doesn’t represent a slippery slope, where any and everybody can wear the letters of a group they not only love, but also worked very hard to be a part of. But as musician Kevin Whalum, another Alpha, so poignantly mentioned, it’s about humanity above colors.”
What are your thoughts on Lalah’s tribute photo?