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Old 03-14-2009, 03:13 AM
Stokley06 Stokley06 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Cool A PHI A as 1st black intercollegiate greek lettered fraternity

These are the facts. On December 4th, 1906 Alpha Phi Alpha was founded as the first intercollegiate greek lettered fraternity created for and by black men. We have never maintained that some local greek lettered club or society did not exist somewhere prior to this date, even though scant documentation exists to support this assertion. Let me use Dr. Kimborough's "Black Greek 101" to provide insight to our claims.

Page 30 "Black Greek 101" Charles F. Potter, chapter historian for Gamma Phi states in the 1923 issue of The Forcean(The Wilberforce University yearbook) "Until a few years ago the activities of the organization(Gamma Phi) were merely local; but there are now other chapters doing splendid work ,but the Alpha chapter at Wilberforce is the leader." Gamma Phi started in May of 1905 with only one chapter at Wilberforce University and apparently did not move beyond local status until the 1920's based on the quote of Mr. Potter. Dr. Kimborough's research indicates that from the early 1920's until 1930 no more than four(4) Gamma Phi chapters can be said to exist --- and that around 1947 the entire organization ceased to exist. What is clear and not disputed is that Gamma Phi by the direct quoted accounts of it's own historian did not predate Alpha Phi Alpha as the first intercollegiate fraternity founded for and by black men. Gamma Phi, like countless other early BGLO's started as nothing more than a local grouping, and in fact, continued as such for almost another 20 years before establishing a few other chapters --- and then disappearing altogether leaving little or no documentation of what it truly was. All greek lettered groups are not fraternities( was Gamma Phi a literary club, a glee club, men's social club? We don't know.) Clearly, all fraternities are not(or were not founded as) intercollegiate or national in scope or intent.

Alpha Kappa Nu (1903) club formed at Indiana University provides no documented evidence that it was a fraternity --- as opposed to a study group, debate society, literary club, social club, etc. --- some documents suggest Alpha Kappa Nu was actually a club of Bloomington, Ind. citizens who held meetings on the University campus during it's brief 14 months of existence. But, it is not a matter of debate that Alpha Kappa Nu(whatever it may have been) was never an intercollegiate fraternity. It was a short lived local greek lettered club. (Page 23 Black Greek 101)

Sigma Pi Phi (1904) Has never claimed to be a collegiate or intercollegiate fraternity in any sense( it was not founded on any university or college campus, has no chapter or boules on such campuses, and has never initiated members through any collegiate structure.) Sigma Pi Phi wisely and rightly acknowledges Alpha Phi Alpha's well documented claim to be the first national intercollegiate greek letter fraternity founded for and by black men.

I chose to use the source that elusiveflip cited to bring some depth to this thread, as a proud brother of Alpha Phi Alpha since June 20th, 1970 (Theta) I am hoping to put an end to the debate as to who was "first of all". To date no one can provide documented evidence that any intercollegiate fraternity founded for and by black men predated the vision of our Jewel Founders.

Last edited by Stokley06; 04-14-2009 at 12:33 AM.
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