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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid