17.2 C
New York
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Stepping into Brotherhood: The Unique Traditions of HBCU Fraternities


Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have long been bastions of academic excellence, community pride, and cultural heritage. These institutions have played a crucial role in the education and empowerment of generations of African American students. One of the cherished traditions at many HBCUs is the presence of Greek letter organizations, or fraternities and sororities, which provide valuable opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, foster brotherhood/sisterhood, and engage in service to their communities.

Among the most notable of these Greek letter organizations are the fraternities known as the “Divine Nine.” These nine organizations, which are all members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, have a storied history of service and leadership within the African American community, and have long been a vital part of the culture of many HBCUs.

Each of the Divine Nine fraternities has its own unique history, symbols, colors, and traditions that set it apart from the others. In this article, we will focus on some of the specific traditions of the HBCU fraternities that make them truly special and meaningful to their members.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the first of the Divine Nine organizations, was founded in 1906 at Cornell University. The fraternity’s colors are black and old gold, and its symbol is the Great Sphinx of Giza. One of the most well-known traditions of Alpha Phi Alpha is the “Ice Cold” call and response that members use to greet each other. This tradition helps to foster a sense of unity and brotherhood among the fraternity’s members.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, which was founded in 1911 at Howard University, is known for its distinctive colors of royal purple and old gold, as well as its symbol of the Lampados. One of the most cherished traditions of Omega Psi Phi is the fraternity’s step shows, which are high-energy performances that feature intricate choreography and rhythmic chanting. These step shows are a favorite among members and are often performed at events on campus and in the community.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, founded in 1911 at Indiana University, is recognized by its crimson and cream colors and its symbol of the Diamond. One of the unique traditions of Kappa Alpha Psi is the “Kane and Two” salute, in which members salute each other with a specific hand gesture that symbolizes the bond of brotherhood that they share. This tradition serves as a reminder of the values and principles that the fraternity stands for.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, founded in 1913 at Howard University, is the first and only sorority in the Divine Nine. The sorority’s colors are crimson and cream, and its symbol is the Delta. One of the most cherished traditions of Delta Sigma Theta is the “Step Show,” which is a high-energy dance performance that showcases the talent and unity of the sorority’s members. The Step Show is a popular event on many HBCU campuses and is an important way for members to bond and showcase their skills.

These are just a few of the unique traditions of the HBCU fraternities that make them such important and cherished organizations within the African American community. These fraternities provide valuable opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, foster brotherhood, and engage in service to their communities. The bonds of brotherhood that are formed within these organizations are lifelong and continue to have a profound impact on the lives of their members long after their college days are over.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles