Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Alpha Kappa Alpha!

Today marks a special milestone in the history of the Black Women’s Club Movement.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated celebrates 100 years of ‘Service to All Mankind!’

This is an extremely exciting time for me and all of my lovely Sorors. We reflect on the vision of our great Founders and Incorporators while focusing on the great promise and challenges of the future.

What I love about the Alpha Kappa Alpha story is that a group of young Black women made what could be argued as a powerful feminist statement in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, DC.

In this same year, there are documented cases that at least eight Black women were lynched in the United States. It was crime (written and/or spoken) in many states for Black people (and particularly women) to gather for meetings.

And, the concept of true Black femininity was often disputed in the racist medical and sociological literature because after all – Black women were considered physically ugly, hot blooded, sultry amoral sexual beings.

So think of how significant it was for this group of young Black women to develop an organization whose core values include scholastic achievement, community service, and celebrating femininity.

And, that in the backdrop of today’s volatile economic and political times, these core values are still very much applicable.

Someone hand me a tissue (sniff, sniff…)

So, today we celebrate a great and influential organization that provided the blueprint for others to follow.

We are often imitated but never duplicated – as the First and the Finest.

Feel free to enjoy the Flash presentation of some remarkable women of Alpha Kappa Alpha by clicking this link.

Yours truly will be in attendance at both the 2008 North Atlantic Regional Conference in Philadelphia and the Centennial Boule in Washington, DC!
Artwork by Larry Poncho Brown