Singer Ciara just tweeted this pic of herself rocking a pair of Air Jordan Retro 9's at the Hill Street Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in Atlanta this morning.
Later this afternoon she's off to the 2nd Annual Sprite Step Off Challenge at the Fox Theater in midtown. The step show starts at 5p.m.
I attended this same event last year at the Atlanta Civic Center. If you recall, controversy raged when the 1st prize of $100,000 in scholarships was awarded to the all-white Epsilon chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha out of Arkansas.
The white girls killed it at the majority black competition last year. They electrified the crowd with a dazzling step routine that clocked in at just under 9 minutes. But almost immediately after this video hit the 'nets, accusations of "the fix was in!" began sounding from HBCUs across the country.
Black sorors complained bitterly that MTV (and their sponsor, Coca Cola which distributes Sprite) wanted a step crew winner that was more in line with their targeted demographic.
So what if the white women stole parts of their routines from black step crews? The truth is that the all-black Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha from Indiana University (who came in 2nd last year) should have stepped their game up a notch instead of acting like it was a dance competition.
The Zeta Tau Alpha girls should have been the sole winners because they stayed true to the historical black traditions of intricate stepping, call and response.
Well, to quiet the uproar (and to appease the media who began making inquiries), Coca-Cola announced that due to a "scoring discrepancy," both the The Zeta Tau Alpha girls (white) and the Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha step crew (black), would be recognized as co-winners.
Naturally the outrage and indignation was split along racial lines, with white college students yelling racism right along with the HBCUs. Coca Cola's excuses about scoring discrepancies fell on deaf ears.
"Why won’t they let YT be great!!!!!! I swear black people won’t let white people have anything," was just one of the sampling of comments left on an all-white message board.
Probably due to the 2010 controversy, this year's competition at the Fox Theater has been scaled down.
Instead of V-103's Ryan Cameron hosting (as he did last year) -- they have someone named DJ Rock-T of the Tavis Smiley Show handling the hosting duties.
Ciara will perform during the competition. Lots of tickets are still available at $20.