News / USA

100-Year-Old African American Sorority Leaves Its Mark

100-Year-Old African American Sorority Leaves Its Marki
X
February 22, 2013 11:30 PM
February is Black History Month in the United States. It draws attention and pays tribute to people, organizations and events that have shaped the history of African Americans and their contributions to American society. VOA's Chris Simkins reports on a black women's organization that has fought for civil rights and has made a difference in the lives of many for more than a century.
100-Year-Old African American Sorority Leaves Its Mark
Chris Simkins
February is Black History Month in the United States. It draws attention and pays tribute to people, organizations and events that have shaped the history of African Americans and their contributions to American society. Delta Sigma Theta, a black women's organization, fought for civil rights and made a difference in the lives of many for over a century.

Members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority share a speical bond. For more than 100 years, the largest African-American sorority has stood the test of time. Aaro Jean Bell Reid - wearing the sorority's crimson and white colors - joined 11 years ago.

"It is about the cohesiveness of the sisterhood. It's about the shared desire for service and the commitment to service," said Reid.

Delta Sigma Theta was founded in 1913 by 22 women at Howard University in Washington. The sorority of college-educated women pledged to perform public service in the black community.

Gwendolyn Boyd heads the group's centennial celebrations. She says that, nearly six weeks after its founding, Delta Sigma Theta members took part in the historic Women's Suffrage March in Washington.

"Our founders were the only African-Americans in the suffrage march, and they did that marching for the rights of women to vote even before African-Americans had the right to vote. But they were visionary women knowing that, if they participated in that movement, that eventually that the rights for African-Americans would come," said Boyd.

The Deltas have participated in every major civil rights march since.  Vanessa Thomas says the organization is unique.

"That is what differentiates the Deltas. In the first place, is that our founders sought to make a difference. It is not just a social club for entertainment but, more importantly, to reach out and make a difference in our communities," she said.

For years the sorority's local chapters have funded programs providing assistance to persons in need and promoting academic excellence.

"We have our own individual projects where we work with young people and mentoring and preparing them for school and success. We also provide scholarships to young people to allow them to continue their pursuits for academic excellence," said Boyd.

For Francine and Cynthia Blake, the sorority has been part of their family for generations. 

"I am just high off Delta right now today at this moment," she said. "I have my sister here with me who is also a Delta and we joined the same chapter although I became a member before her but she is the oldest and fortunately I have a daughter who is also a Delta."

Today, Delta Sigma Theta has 260,000 members. For the next century, these sorority sisters say they will continue to leave their mark on black history while helping transform the lives of young people.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid