Today is “Founder’s Day” for: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Incorporated.
On January 15, 1908, a group of 20 collegiate women at Howard University convened to establish a service organization that has since grown into a global standard with the motto: “Service to all mankind.”
On May 2, 1987, I pledged the sorority at Temple University (Delta Mu Chapter).
Along with eight other women who have since become my “Sorors,” – a greek word for “Sister – we entered a world of “pink and green everything” and became part of a community of women who serve on an array of different levels and for many reasons as well.
I’ve since grown older and come to realize that sisterhood is a concept that extends far beyond my sorority affiliation. I have two sisters by birth whom I love and over one million sorority sisters world-wide – all of whom I’ll clearly never meet. I’ll always be an AKA, but at this juncture in life, I am constantly examining relationships with everyone: sorority sisters, women, men and relatives. EVERYONE.
The intersect and discovery process has been amazing!
There are women who are my friends and by chance – they just so happen to also be sorority members – and there are others who pledged a different organization or no sorority at all: they, too, are some of my dearest friends. (I pinky swear).
Two pastel colors are not what inspire me to be a kind and decent humanitarian; however, a shield, sisterhood, and sacred rituals did indeed make me a member of a prestigious organization whose community contributions for over a century are simply phenomenal. I will eternally acknowledge and respect Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
More important, I am ever conscious of the organization’s purpose as it aligns with my own as a woman whose life is one of literary pursuit with whimsy and words that that I seek to intermingle.
It’s a beautiful thing when you can pursue your passion with “folks” who embrace the same. Having said that, I wanted to celebrate this “106th Founders Day” with a true representation of where my life is on this very day and how THAT intersects with being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
I also wanted to avoid the somewhat “gimmicky” online “clip art” representations available that may be cute in “pink and green” design, but at the end of the day, the principles of our organization are represented by a single shield which is both the first and last image I used in this post. So, all my social media and Facebook people know that I have been pushing the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts & Humanities HARD.
My indulgence has almost been as though I was perhaps the sole birth-right of the renowned “Novelist, Folklorist, and Anthropologist.”
Zora Neale Hurston died childless.
I am Ethel’s daughter, but covet undeniable” Zora Zeal.”
Hurston is also not a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, but ironically, some of the world’s most prolific African-American poets, actresses, writers, (and just fierce women) are Alpha Kappa Alpha women who long-life support ZORA!
They will continue that legacy this year with the 25th Anniversary Celebration the 25th Anniversary Celebration January 25 – February 2, 2014.
Click link for festival information = www.zorafestival.org
I’ve attended and provided news coverage for the previous, three consecutive years and this year was sub-contracted by the public relations company promoting ZORA! Festival to assist with editorial. So, on this Founder’s Day, I would be remiss to dismiss one commemoration over the other. Consistent with the creative mind I am, I’ve found a way to merge the best of both worlds on this historic day to honor black women of artistic esteem who also support ZORA! and just happen to be my sorors as well ~
SOROR SONIA SANCHEZ
On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Soror Sonia Sanchez will host the ” ‘Round ‘Bout Midnight Series: Spoken Word” event at the Zora Festival. Celebrating the arts and humanities is the foremost inclusion of the multi-day, multi-disciplinary event.
Sanchez has been a long term contributor of time and talent to ZORA! Festival over the years as noted in the 2008 banner to the left. She will additionally be “honored” at the Saturday, February 1st Gala.
She is deserving, worthy, and due.
If you didn’t know about the 8th floor of Gladfelter Hall and the Department of African-American Studies at Temple University, than you just weren’t “in the know.”
It’s an honor to be able to have an opportunity to be up close and personal with her again.
SOROR LYNN WHITFIELD
Soror Whitfield is a talent that surpasses excellence and she is most widely recognized for her Emmy Award Winning performances in “The Josephine Baker Story” and “Eve’s Bayou.” Whitfield will bring her phenomenal talent to the Eatonville stages for ZORA! Festivals 25th Anniversary.