Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Diversity in Black Greek Letter Organizations, Wow!

This picture popped up on Facebook on, June 11, 2014. And man, did a hell fire of responses follow this picture. I posted it on my wall that day and my friends who are D9 (Divine 9, which are the 9 historically black greek letter organizations, I will list them later) had a LOT to say, along with my sorors.

Now let me get my DISCLAIMERS out the way:

  • I am not a member of ANY D9 
  • I am a member of a sorority. It is not D9. It is a majority white sorority that is not part of the NPHC or the Panhell.
  • I have sorors *yes I call my sisters sorors* who are members of a D9 sorority
  • I am a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and DOI *no further information on this post about these two orgs*.
I AM NOT A MEMBER OF A D9 SORORITY!!!!! Felt I needed to state that again. Whew.

Now with that out the way, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this here blow up. 

You have 3 non-black people, white folks or Europeans if you want to be PC, who are members of historically Black (or African American) organizations. And yes, that can be a bit jarring to those who are on the radical spectrum of the black experience.

But let me back up… the picture came from this blog. Read the post it is rather interesting. The blogger is black and is in a white sorority. Yup, told you. Interesting.

While I am not a member of the D9, I can speak on a couple of things because I am in a fraternal organization; a couple actually. While yes, each org is different, we do share in some common factors. MEMBERSHIP is one of them. Since I am a member of a white sorority, diversity and tolerance is something I had to learn.

I joined while attending Tuskegee University and my chapter was all black, pretty much like the school. It was not until I graduated and traveled that I met some of the other members who didn't look like me. And not only do we have a diverse cultural background in my org we have some alternative lifestyle women as well. *you will get that on the way home*

I have been a member for 20 years and these are a few of the things I have learned:

Work is needed

It does not really matter your color or sexual orientation; organizations from Greeks, to Masons to the Rotary International... we need members who will not only pay their dues but will WORK!!!
I wish I could ask people when they want to join to take a polygraph to see if they are lying about wanting to work for the organization. We have enough people who are in our organizations who never show up after they join. We also have the ones that only come out to the party and won't even sell a ticket or help set up or clean up for that party. They come. have fun, and dip before the night is over. Hard working members are hard to come by. They could have a unicorn horn sticking out their forehead but if they are willing to roll up their sleeves and work they are good with me.

Dues are necessary

The other aspect is paying dues! Money makes the world go around and people need to pay their dues to help the chapter keep moving forward with whatever their focus is. And yes, I know the economy is not great; TRUST ME I know, but the reality is that dues need to be paid.

Differences are okay

There are cultural differences, and IT'S OK.

There are some things my non-black sorority sisters do and I just kind of look at them like er?!  I don't get it but I accept it and keep it moving. In the grand scheme of things it's not really that big of a deal. We are all different and that is the beauty of being in these organizations.
Oh please believe I was not always this kumbaya. My dad was a black panther.  But being in GSS, along with some growth and maturity... I have learned some tolerance and acceptance along the way. As Pastor Wright used to say,
"Not everyone who looks like you is not for you, and not everyone who does not look like you is against you."

Diversity is real

But back to the picture. I cannot speak for the members of the D9, I would not assume to do as such, since I am not a member. But as a member of the DOI, PHA, I have met several members who are not black. Not just white, but Hispanic/Latin as well. Some of these members are some hard ass working folks. I have seen firsthand some of the backlash they receive being in an org that some feel should be black only. It is 2014, when do we get to move past this?

Things are changing, and we must change with them. Not allowing whites (because usually that's where most of the anger is directed) to join is just as bad as them not allowing us to join because we are black.

Take the whole mainstream *white* vs pha *black* in masonry. In the deep south, they (the white masons) do not recognize the black masons (PHA). It's not right. I could go on and on about this but I won't get my blood pressure up. Maybe, just maybe we can start to put some of these prejudices behind us, and move towards really being able to live out Dr. King's dream. It has to start somewhere and at some time. I am not saying forget the past, but when does the forgiving and healing part start?

Hey let it start with you!!! 

*yeah I know that was cheesy but whatever*

Oh I almost forgot, here is the list of Divine Nine Organizations:

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc – Founded 1906
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc – Founded 1908
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc – Founded 1911 
  The young man on the right is a member of this organization
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. – Founded 1911
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc – Founded 1913 
   The young lady in the middle is a member of this organization
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc – Founded 1914 
   Happy 100th to the Sigma's
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc – Founded 1920
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc - Founded 1922 
   The young lady on the left is a member of this organization
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc - Founded 1963

If you want more information please feel free to look these organizations up on the web they all have websites.

'Til Next Time

Love Peace and All Things Pretty
~The Diva V~


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