Black Greek letter organizations relevancy

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Black Greek letter organizations have played an indelible role in promoting a bond of brotherhood and sisterhood among Black college educated men and women. These organizations have created conduits responsible for positive and productive achievements and accomplishments that ripple unquestionably across the Black communities. The result is an image that negates the negative stereotypes generated by oppressors of Blacks as being lazy, unproductive and intellectually inferior.

Black Greek letter organizations profile Blacks at their best, excelling and helping their communities through service projects, tutoring, mentorships, and college scholarships. While there are several social organizations aiding in uplifting the youth in the Black community, one cannot dismiss the role of Black fraternities and sororities in leading our youth in realizing and meeting their goals by offering themselves as role models through their collaborative actions.

Their role and involvement is never needed more than now, when a great number of our youth are being failed by the public school system and the cradle-to-prison pipeline for our young Black boys is ever so real and working. Black fraternities and sororities may be the major interventions to combat this movement to destroy our youth.

Some may question the relevancy of these organizations because they only see the social dances and galas these organizations put on. But too often they are not knowledgeable of the charitable and benevolent activities of these organizations. Many outsiders see them as promoting hazing and animosity. But these are actions illegally practiced by some individual members within the groups. They do not reflect the objectives of any of these organizations, which do not advocate or promote hazing as their missions. In fact, acts of hazing are grounds for expulsion of members in these organizations.

Some may say these organizations are excessively proud and bourgeois but don’t be mistaken. They manifest, a unique bond of brotherhood and camaraderie, generating a love and fidelity so needed in the Black community for unity and growth. We must never apologize for being Black, proud, and beautiful people. Unfortunately, this fidelity and uncontested love may be hard for non-members to fully understand. However, it is definitely real—something a Black Greek doesn’t have to defend or apologize about being a part of. These organizations form a network that helps catapult members to excellence in their prospective fields. At the end of the day, they can share their strengths and fears among each other. They are much-needed vessels in the Black community to keep us focused and afloat.

The beauty of these organizations is that Black Greek letter organizations exist to meet everyone’s individual personality or goals. They all can boast of being the best for their members. These organizations promote and inspire people who look like us, to love, respect, and help each other in our struggle in this walk through life. Realistically, there are going to be some trials and experiences that only people of color are going to encounter. It is important that you have those you can lean on and who have your back. Black fraternities and sororities offer members that support. Members are able to convey this feeling to others in the Black community. This bond and sense of belonging is not likely to be found in White fraternities and sororities unsympathetic to our historic plight here in America. While other organizations exist promoting self only, Black Greek letter organizations promote giving back to the community and uplifting our people. In these times with the resurgence of blatant racism and discriminatory practices, we need any positive forces available that will hold us together, and reinsure our mission to persevere and excel. Thus, we should clearly be able to see the need and relevancy of Black Greek letter organizations.

So I offer a salute and kudos to the following major Black Greek letter organizations for what they have done and continue to do to uplift the best the Black community has to offer. These fraternities include: Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha, and Phi Beta Sigma. The sororities are Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Zeta Phi Beta.