GreekChat.com Forums  

Go Back   GreekChat.com Forums > GLO Specific Forums > Delta > Delta Sigma Theta


Register Now for FREE!
Join GreekChat.com, The Fraternity & Sorority Greek Chat Network. To sign up for your FREE account INSTANTLY fill out the form below!

Username: Password: Confirm Password: E-Mail: Confirm E-Mail:
 
Image Verification
Please enter the six letters or digits that appear in the image opposite.

  I agree to forum rules 

» GC Stats
Members: 307,874
Threads: 114,782
Posts: 2,159,204
Welcome to our newest member, BenicioNov
» Online Users: 360
4 members and 356 guests
anisamanraymo, ChioLu, oboissonnedmu
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-10-2003, 05:58 PM
CrimsonAngel2001 CrimsonAngel2001 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DC Area
Posts: 161
Send a message via AIM to CrimsonAngel2001 Send a message via Yahoo to CrimsonAngel2001
A lifetime devoted to Delta

Here's an article written in the Plain Dealer about Grace White-Ware, daughter of our illustrious founder Madree Penn White



A lifetime devoted to Deltas

09/04/03

Margaret Bernstein
Plain Dealer Reporter


Grace White-Ware's world is limited now. At 81, she's blind in her left eye and can see only for a few hours a day through her right one.

It's a bit like being a has-been, says the retired Cleveland teacher who in her heyday was an outspoken voice within her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.


From Our Advertiser




Today, her declining health keeps her from getting to sorority meetings. She spends her days inside a Cleveland home that's overgrown with Delta memorabilia saved from years of activism.

The boxes are dusty, but she's still a lusty warrior for Delta. That's clear when she barks at a reporter not to fail to put the word "Incorporated" after the sorority's name.

No one produces facts faster than White-Ware about the sorority's important role in history. She knows how Delta helped black women take their place in the civil-rights movement and how its founders even elbowed their way into a historic march for suffrage in 1913.

That's because her mother was there for all of it.

White-Ware enjoys the gilded position of being the daughter of Delta founder Madree Penn White, a name memorized by any college woman who wishes to pledge Delta.

It was her mom, perhaps more than any of Delta's 22 founders, who built a firm foundation for the sorority by writing its constitution and selecting its symbols. It was her mother who created the idea of spinning off chapters across the country, sowing seeds for an organization that 90 years later can brag that 200,000 college-educated black women have become members.

The national past presidents know White-Ware. Past president Hortense Canady recalls that during the 1980s, White-Ware fought bitterly against lowering the required grade-point average for prospective Deltas to 2.3 - a change the sorority eventually made and lived to regret, she said.

"What she predicted came true. We got a different caliber of young woman," said Canady, interviewed by phone at her Michigan home. "We were getting people who thought that hazing was more important than high morals and high principles."

It wasn't long before the sorority voted to raise the GPA back to 2.5, she said.

Canady, who served as national president from 1983 to 1988, said she respected White-Ware's strong opinions and put her to work directing national programs that had to do with social action.

As a frank-talking purist devoted to keeping her mother's vision intact, White-Ware often has tangled with sorority leaders. "They may not like me. But I don't give a hoot," she said with a laugh.

After all, she grew up holding the hand of a Delta founder who sought to build a national network of independent-minded black women.

Madree Penn White emerged as a leader in 1913, when 22 Howard University female students decided to invent their own Greek-letter organization. As the chapter's second president, she took over in the fall of 1913 and steered the sorority until 1919.

In 1914, White established Delta's second chapter at Wilberforce University. "Her whole concept was that a true sorority needed to have links nationwide," said Ella McNair, Delta's national director of programs and public relations.

White also had the idea to induct high-profile black women as honorary members to chart the sorority's political path. Among the notables selected were Mary Church Terrell and Mary McLeod Bethune, who helped push the sorority into a leadership position during the civil-rights movement.

After graduation, White married a physician, James White, and became a St. Louis newspaperwoman.

She always dressed plainly, in long skirts and a simple blouse. "My mother was very nondescript-looking. . . . But she was brainy," White-Ware said. "She always said there is no substitute for brains."

When her parents divorced, young Grace stayed with her mother and soaked up her philosophies. "No regurgitated thinking, please," she remembers her mother exhorting her. "Think for yourself."

But there was one glaring exception.

When Grace attended Harriet Beecher Stowe Teachers College in St. Louis in the 1940s and her friends pledged a rival sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, she considered doing likewise. She didn't care for the Delta chapter on her campus. "All my friends were Sigmas. Every one of them. The Deltas liked the light-skinned ones, the damn-near-white ones, and I wasn't damn-near-white," she said.

The idea didn't go over well with mom, who threatened her daughter with bodily harm.

White-Ware changed her mind, pledging Delta in 1943. Eventually she came around to seeing the sorority as a rich inheritance.

In Cleveland, she became president of the local alumnae chapter, serving from 1969 to 1973.

Meticulous about facts, she donated some of her mother's memorabilia to the national headquarters and worked on a history committee.

White-Ware married a Cleveland man, James Ware, and moved here in 1954. They had a son, but it wasn't a happy marriage, and they divorced in 1957.

White-Ware never remarried - "One time was enough for me!" - and went on to earn a top reputation as a Cleveland public-schools teacher.

In 1955, her mother moved in with her and remained in Cleveland until her death in 1967. Jean Murrell Capers, Cleveland's first black councilwoman, struck up a close friendship with White-Ware's mother.

Joining Delta had been a very deliberate decision for Capers. She was impressed that the newly formed Delta chapter was the only black women's group to take part in the 1913 suffragettes march in Washington, D.C.

"At that particular time, that was no activity for a lady in which to be engaged," Capers said. To her, it was vivid proof that Delta Sigma Theta would be built on a social-action platform.

McNair pointed out that shortly after the 1913 march, nervy Madree Penn White even managed to snag a meeting with President Woodrow Wilson to argue for women's voting rights. She was only 18.

With an activist mom like that, "You can see why Grace is like she is," said McNair.

Many friends remark that White-Ware inherited her mother's vision.

Ironically, she now is sidelined by vision loss.

Because of an eye implant that allows her to eke out only a few hours of vision each day, White-Ware carefully chooses what she wants to see. Some days she lies in bed with eyes closed for hours, reserving her sight for a doctor's visit or for cooking.

Sorors and friends help out sometimes, she said. "But when you're 81, people forget all about you. I'm - what you say? - a has-been. But I don't feel like one."

She refuses to fade away. Instead, she works harder at maintaining her one last regular connection - contacting Deltas on their birthdays.

"Grace keeps up, she really does," says Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge, who can count on a birthday card every Oct. 29. "It's just really wonderful that . . . even at her age and with her physical challenges, she always lets you know she's thinking about you."

Just because she's sending well wishes instead of launching tirades, don't assume her roar has dulled.

"Any card you get from me, you better frame," she said, with trademark sass. "Because I don't know what shape I'll be in next year."

Last edited by CrimsonTide4; 09-10-2003 at 06:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-10-2003, 06:17 PM
CrimsonTide4 CrimsonTide4 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 22,596
Thanks Soror for sharing this. I received it earlier today but did not get a chance to post this.


**The proud BORN IN CLEVELAND soror**
__________________
I am a woman, I make mistakes. I make them often. God has given me a talent and that's it. ~ Jill Scott
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-11-2003, 07:44 PM
brickhouse492 brickhouse492 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: BK
Posts: 227
Wow, God bless her.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-11-2003, 08:01 PM
ladygreek ladygreek is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: In the fraternal Twin Cities
Posts: 6,444
Quote:
Originally posted by CrimsonTide4
Thanks Soror for sharing this. I received it earlier today but did not get a chance to post this.


**The proud BORN IN CLEVELAND soror**
** The proud RAISED IN ST. LOUIS soror**

p.s. Soror Grace and my Mom were running buds.
__________________
DSQ
Born: Epsilon Xi / Zeta Chi, SIUC
Raised: Minneapolis/St. Paul Alumnae
Reaffirmed: Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae
All in the MIGHTY MIDWEST REGION!

Last edited by ladygreek; 09-11-2003 at 08:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-12-2003, 01:48 PM
kiml122 kiml122 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The same place for years
Posts: 3,765
Send a message via AIM to kiml122
I read this in another list serv the other day, and I thought it was an awesome article.
__________________
DSQ

Be Breezy - Calvin from "House of Payne"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-12-2003, 09:41 PM
stillwater15 stillwater15 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: home of the nation's highest car insurance rates :(
Posts: 307
Send a message via Yahoo to stillwater15
this article is really something about soror white-ware's determination and overall dedication to delta. laughing at founder white threatening bodily harm, if she pledged sigma gamma rho.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-15-2003, 08:55 PM
Ideal08 Ideal08 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: In a whole 'nother world
Posts: 5,284
Talking I truly enjoyed reading this!

This was a beautiful story!!!!! I have to say, though, they could have actually put "Sorority, Incorporated" after the name of the sorority since they commented on how she emphasized it. But, it was a beautiful story nonetheless!!! Whether in a different organization or not, it gives you pride in being a member of a Greek-lettered organization.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-16-2003, 04:52 PM
Professor Professor is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,977
God Bless her! I enjoy reading about people of remarkable interest. I wish there were pictures.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-18-2003, 03:09 PM
toocute toocute is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: I'on know...
Posts: 1,861
Beautiful, Beautiful article. Bless her.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-20-2003, 10:50 PM
OOhsoflyDELTA#9 OOhsoflyDELTA#9 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 882
Wow....

Great article......I can only hope and pray that I have as much spunk as my dear soror if or when I reach her age....may God continue to bless her and bless us with her wisdom........
__________________
Yesterday, Today, Forever...I love my D S Q


When you drop the baggage, your hands will then be free to embrace the blessings...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-05-2003, 09:59 AM
JJSP01 JJSP01 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 184
Send a message via AIM to JJSP01
Smile So Proud...

After reading this story, I realized how PROUD I am to be able to say that I'm a member of this great sorority! All my sorors should be motivated to do something great this sorority year.

Peace & Blessings!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-07-2003, 05:34 PM
Ms Public Service Ms Public Service is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Diva Land
Posts: 174
Each time that I read this article I just swell up with pride. Soror Grace White-Ware still has that good ole Delta Spirit at 81. Can you imagine being a Pyramid on line pledging for two semesters under her back in the day? Her Pyramids would have had to be constantly sharp.
__________________
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Providing Sisterhood, Scholarship, Service, and Social Action Since 1913
The Delta Homeownership Challenge
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-06-2006, 06:02 PM
CrimsonTide4 CrimsonTide4 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 22,596
Saw someone reading this thread and I decided to Google our Soror

I found pics:

@ Ohio University with Epsilon Iota Sorors
__________________
I am a woman, I make mistakes. I make them often. God has given me a talent and that's it. ~ Jill Scott
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-06-2006, 06:26 PM
MissMonika MissMonika is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Sittin' on the dock of SF/BAY
Posts: 139
Send a message via Yahoo to MissMonika
Talking

What a Wonderful Story!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-06-2006, 06:41 PM
Proverbs31 Proverbs31 is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 997
Re: Saw someone reading this thread and I decided to Google our Soror

Wow, thats a wonderful picture!! My sands and I kick it with the Epsilon Iota Sorors quite often, I'll have to refer them to this thead.


Quote:
Originally posted by CrimsonTide4
I found pics:

@ Ohio University with Epsilon Iota Sorors
__________________
"When I wake up, everything I went through will be beautiful." Jill Scott
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.