Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Slammed For Tweet Describing Historic Black Sorority As ‘Diverse Dance Group’

Among the numerous performers participating in Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were the Zeta Phi Beta Centennial Steppers, representing the Zeta Phi Beta sorority from Howard University.

During the broadcast, the Macy’s Twitter account shared a tweet referencing the performance — which was later deleted after being hit with backlash.

Alongside a video of the performances, Macy’s wrote, “What’s that sound, you ask? Why it’s the diverse dance group, Zeta Phi Beta Steppers! Performing a special routine they put together to help us celebrate this unprecedented year #MacysParade.”

The tweet was slammed by Twitter users who pointed out that the sorority was founded in 1920 at historically Black Howard University, with the performance celebrating the sorority’s centennial.

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The term “diverse dance group” was criticized by one Twitter user as “reductive,” while another noted that the “stepping” performed by the sorority members was “a tradition that dates back to the 1900s when slaves used this form of dance as way to communicate.”

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid also chimed in, pointing out that Zeta Phi Beta is “not a dance group” but “a Black sorority founded at Howard U in 1920 and part of the Divine Nine.”

After deleting its original tweet, Macy’s posted a new one, writing that they “loved” hosting the “international, historically Black Sorority” at the parade.

After the sorority thanks Macy’s for bringing them before a national audience, the department store replied, “No, thank YOU for joining us this year.”

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