The History of the Black Sorority

WITH ALL THE NEGATIVE PUBLICITY SURROUNDING FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES AS A RESULT OF HAZING, RYSE WANTED TO SHED A BRIGHT LIGHT ON THE POSITIVE SIDE BEHIND WHY THESE ORGANIZATIONS WERE STARTED. 

Sororities are commonly defined as a college social club or organization for women, with particular distinction given to African American sororities. Birthed at a time in history when the traditional roles of women were being challenged, the founders of the first Black sororities had to overcome the stereotypical views of sexism and racism as well. These young people were considered exceptional in their own considering that a college education was not easily accessible to African Americans. By contrast, within mainstream society they were subject to rejection because of the color of their skin, having to prove their capabilities in the intellectual environment of the collegiate world. The need arose to organize a support system, the horizontal ties known as sisterhood. Destined to become leaders, nine women stood strong and formed the first African American sorority in 1908. 

Now over a quarter of a million women belong to Black sorori­ties with numbers increasing yearly. These women make a lifetime commitment to continue the legacy of building social capital and uphold the strong ideals of education, integrity, public service and activism. 

Historic Roots

Black fraternal organizations were initiated during a time in history when a societal view of academic education for Afri­can Americans seemed impractical. The formation of African American Greek-letter societies were in direct defiance to the view that Blacks were incapable of understanding Greek study besides their exclusion from White Greek-letter groups. 

There are four major sororities, all of which were estab­lished in early twentieth century, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (Howard University, 1908), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (Howard University, 1913), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (Howard University, 1920), and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority (Butler University, 1922). These organizations have signifi­cantly impacted the African American community as well as civil society itself. 

The AKA’s were the first to incorporate in 1913, and since, the organization has evolved into an affiliation of college educated women committed to academic excellence, ethics, mentoring and public service. Today, the sorority has an impres­sive membership of more than 250,000 women in the United States, the Carib­bean, Europe, and Africa. 

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Psi Theta Omega Chapter picture taken at this year’s Joint Founders’ Day 2012 Breakfast in Orlando, FL

“Being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Soror­ity, Inc. provides me with an unbreakable bond with upstanding women across the nation, and the globe, upon which I can rely on no matter where my life takes me. It is a means of service both within my community, and outside of my commu­nity,” states Cheryl Smith, President of the AKA Nu Iota Omega Chapter. 



We want to know what you think. Leave a comment.

0 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CONTACT US

Have a great story idea, know someone On the RYSE, we would love to hear from you. Send us a message and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

© 2019 RYSE Interactive, Inc

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

CLOSE

RYSE UP FOR

THE RUNDOWN

DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX WEEKLY

- Early Access to Top Stories

- Success Tips

- Unique Community Finds

- Exclusive Offers From Our Partners

CLOSE

Thanks for joining

the RYSE Tribe!

or

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?