Fri. Mar 22nd, 2024

Why Black fraternities and sororities matter in the US

By Keyari Page Feb 1, 2021
Illustration of Black Fraternities and Black Sororities posing with their hand signs.Illustration by Miss_Aye22

Today is the first day of Black history month in my home country, America.

Yes, we all know Black excellence should be celebrated every day but here we are in 2021, still explaining the importance of history that affects us all.

So let us learn the history that is not spoken of and the history that is empowering for all of us today.

Back at home, I imagine Black fraternities and sororities, known as the Divine Nine, planning virtual events for the occasion, especially my sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated.

Some are organising informal drives to get new members excited about being a part of an organisation that will always offer a brotherhood or sisterhood for support.

So, what about it? Aren’t sororities and fraternities just a part of the American college experience?

These organisations started as a safe space to support and create opportunities for African Americans because the traditional Greek letter organisations were restricting membership to specific genders and races, according to Dawn of a New Tradition: Black Greek Letter Organizations.

They also promote community service,  scholarships, educational support, awareness about health issues, and racial equality.

Who are they?

The Divine Nine includes the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated founded in 1906 (AΦA), which can count Martin Luther King Jr and W.E.B. Dubois among its alumni. 

Kelly Price and Maritza Correia McClendon are members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority (ΣΓΡ), founded in 1922. Michael Jordan, Rev Jessie Jackson, Minnie Riperton, and Zora Neale Hurston are some of the other famous names who were members of one of these sororities and fraternities.

How can you get involved?

You can get involved by joining a chapter as an undergraduate or as a graduate member after receiving your bachelor’s degree.

There are qualifications you have to have such as maintaining a certain grade point average (GPA) level, community activism or volunteering and having materials ready to submit by the request of the Black fraternity and or Black sorority.

Lastly, do not worry about not being in America because these organisations have founded chapters globally across Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.

If you’d like more information then check out this video below or send me any questions you may have. And happy Black History Month to all African Americans.

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