Alpha Kappa Alpha (1908- ), the Pink and Green, is the oldest of the four black sororities in America. It is a black sisterhood of university-trained women that in 2007 was 200,000 strong. Among them:
- Phylicia Rashad (Mrs Cosby)
- Toni Morrison (Nobel prize for Literature)
- Diane Abbott (the first black woman to become a member of parliament in Britain)
- Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (first female president of Liberia)
- Enolia McMillan (first female president of the NAACP)
- Althea Gibson (first black woman to win the Grand Slam in tennis)
- Debi Thomas (Olympic figure skater)
- Bernice King (daughter of Martin Luther King).
- Marjorie Vincent (Miss America 1991)
Among its honorary sisters are Maya Angelou, Alicia Keys, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Nichelle Nichols (Uhura on Star Trek), Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Eleanor Roosevelt and many others.
Hillary Clinton was one for a bit but then turned it down because their rules would prevent her from joining the other black sororities.
It is mainly American, but it has branches in Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea and in parts of the West Indies.
Although most are black, there is no race requirement. What is required is that you have a college or university degree or are currently getting one, do well at school, help others by serving the community and know the history of Alpha Kappa Alpha. They want the finest women, not huge numbers of women.
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded by Ethel Hedgeman and nine other women almost a hundred years ago at Howard University in Washington DC. That was on January 15th 1908. They wanted to serve mankind and change the world.
Through the years Alpha Kappa Alpha has worked to help poor blacks:
- They marched in 1913 to give women the right to vote.
- They worked to root out lynching.
- In the 1930s they created the country’s first mobile health clinic.
- They helped train teachers and get books for the Mississippi Delta region, one of the poorest in the country.
- In the 1940s they were the first to lobby Congress full-time for black civil rights.
- In the 1950s they helped blacks who moved north.
- In the 1960s they founded and ran the Cleveland Job Corps.
- They built ten schools in South Africa.
- In 2005 they raised money to help people after hurricane Katrina.
- In 2007 they supported the Jena 6.
- They work with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for the poor.
- They offer free computer training.
- They give out scholarships.
- They help poor children with their schoolwork.
They are particularly interested in helping poor children in bad schools to read, especially those between the age of five and eight. Right now they are applying for a grant from the government to do this on a larger scale. But whether they get it or not, they will continue to help poor children, especially poor black girls, with their schoolwork and help them to set their sights higher.