The History of Alpha Kappa Alpha and How It Was Founded

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Introduction: The Importance of Alpha Kappa Alpha in US History

In the beginning of America’s history, there was a time when everything was new. The first major organizations of social gatherings and fraternal orders were established during this time. Today, few things seen as “old school” are used by the majority of Americans. However, back then, life was very different than it is now. There were many battles that occurred in order to give citizens what they believed they deserved – freedom that never happens anymore in our day and age. “Freedom” of that time was not consists of the freedom to do what you want, but more so to do what is known as “the right things.” People believed that something is wrong with the way things are, but should be fixed. For example, slavery was a major issue in America. It was spoken about and encouraged to change. Many people – white and black – fought for this freedom for over 200 years, and it took the blood shed of many people to bring it about. This historical era has led to the establishment of some of the most important organizations that are still involved in American life today.

america's first historically black sorority
america’s first historically black sorority

Founder’s Story

In 1896, a young woman by the name of Nina Mae Fowler attended a missionary meeting at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. She was inspired to start a sorority that would be built on Christian principles. When she returned home she began telling her friends about her idea and put plans in motion. She started the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for women who wanted to live with similar values. She ended up having fifteen friends sign on to help her, but their first meeting was not very successful. It was hard just getting people together let alone convincing them that it would be a good idea to start a new sorority. At that time, the idea of a black sorority was unheard of. The very first meeting did not go as badly as they had hoped: two out of the fifteen members stayed and four more joined later. The group decided to take it one step at a time and wait for other co-eds to come along and join them. In 1910, nine members formed the Beta Xi Chapter at Howard University where only four white women were allowed to go each year on the scholarship program. By 1912, there were thirty members who had pledged to remain together at the University of Georgia where they were living in the same dormitory and even took their oaths together. The fourteen original founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority still held their founding tradition on high and would always hold a meeting in the church.

america's first historically black sorority
america’s first historically black sorority

Chapter 2: Social Impact & Contributions AKA Has Made To The United States

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has contributed to the progress of America’s history. When Ethel Hedgeman Lyle and her two friends founded Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., they were not doing it just for themselves, but for the future generations that would follow in their footsteps. But before I begin talking about some of the major contributions made by this organization and how it has contributed to our country’s progress throughout the years, I need to talk about a few other things first. One of the first things that should be addressed is the major role that Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLO’s) have played in racial progress. These organizations have not only been responsible for helping black women become accustomed to college life but also have contributed to raising African-American awareness through their non-conformity to segregated societies. Being a BGLO was not just about studying and making friends, but it involved a mission. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has always been on a mission and it is still important today. Even though the organization was founded in 1908, it did not become popular until 1920. This can be attributed to the fact that the organization did not have any leaders at that time, but instead gained its popularity through numerous contributions and changes in society’s rules and regulations.

america's first historically black sorority
america’s first historically black sorority

Conclusion: What to Expect from Alpha Kappa Alpha Going Forward

In this day and age of “old school” being the new school, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has been through a lot of changes. What people can expect from this organization going forward are things that are more progressive than ever. First and foremost thing is going to be the new chapter retention rate in undergraduate education. The retention rate is incredibly low when compared with other sororities today. With the new initiatives that this sorority has begun to take on, it looks to go for the top. The change in recruitment process for freshmen is going to be a positive move that is sure to greatly contribute to their future success. This organization has a very strong foundation and direction that it is heading towards in its future. With such a strong foundation, this can be very uplifting and inspiring for all of their members. If you asked me how I would rate this organization as of today, I would give them an A+. There is a lot of potential that can be tapped into with this organization and I believe it will be utilized to the fullest. Although, this organization is not perfect, what organization is? I believe that it will definitely go a long way towards making positive changes for the better. [ARTICLE END]
Additionally, Joe Werner from the University of Tennessee wrote: “I understand Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority well because it’s my home-grown fraternity. I have seen many changes being implemented and believe it’s going to go on for the better. Although I know that the organization is not perfect, it will make positive changes for the benefit of others in society.”
For other news on my Kappa experience, follow me on Twitter at @TrilliTori.

america's first historically black sorority
america’s first historically black sorority