Cover image for The divine nine : the history of African American fraternities and sororities
The divine nine : the history of African American fraternities and sororities
Ross, Lawrence C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Kensington Pub., 2000.
Physical Description:
xiii, 465 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LJ34 .R67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
LJ34 .R67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LJ34 .R67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LJ34 .R67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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America's black fraternities and sororities are a unique and vital part of 20th century African-American history. Since the creation of the first fraternity in 1906 at Cornell University, they have provided young black achievers with opportunities to support each other, while serving their communities and the nation. But never before has information about African-American fraternities and sororities been published for the general public. Now, "The Divine Nine", a meticulously researched history, tells the story of how these organizations have played a major role in shaping generations of black leaders.

Today, America's nine block fraternities and sororities are two and one-half million members strong and among the most powerful and influential groups in African-American society -- with chapters at major universities and colleges across the country. Many of America's most prominent business leaders, scientists, politicians, entertainers, and athletes took their first steps toward making a difference in the world in a fraternity or sorority. This extensive yet very accessible book celebrates the spirit of excellence shared by these and other renowned African Americans in brief, inspiring profiles.

"The Divine Nine" includes interviews with people like: ABC-TV's "The View" co-host Star Jones, Los Angeles Laker Shaquille O'Neal, Weather anchorman Spencer Christian, Historian John Hope Franklin, Poet Nikki Giovanni, and more, and features inspiring profiles of: Hank Aaron, Maya Angelou, Toni Braxton, Bill Cosby, W.E.B. DuBois, Duke Ellington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Toni Morrison, Coretta Scott King, Dionne Warwick, and many others.

Fully illustrated with photographs, "The DivineNine"chronicles an important yet previously neglected subject in African-American history

Author Notes

Lawrence C. Ross, Jr. attended the University of California at Berkeley, and has been a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for over fifteen years. As a journalist, his work has been seen in over 200 African American newspapers, and he currently works as a reporter for the Los Angeles Independent Newspapers

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

This history of black fraternities and sororities confirms the underlying purpose of these institutions: to provide a supportive educational environment for their members during college and social and business networks beyond college. Ross notes the substantial variation on the specific circumstances behind the formation of black fraternities and sororities. For example, Alpha Phi Alpha was formed at Cornell University just after the turn of the last century to counterbalance extreme racial hostilities aimed at the few black students. Shortly thereafter, in the more protective environment of predominantly black Howard University, Omega Psi Phi was formed. More recently (1963), older commuter students at Morgan State formed Iota Phi Theta. The underlying theme in all cases was camaraderie with a special emphasis on providing support to minorities in hostile environments, whether on campus or the broader racial environment of the U.S. Ross profiles several members of black fraternities and sororities, many of them prominent, and notes the contributions the groups have made to black leadership in the U.S. --Vernon Ford

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1 The Fraternities
Chapter I Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.p. 3
Chapter II Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.p. 45
Chapter III Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.p. 73
Chapter IV Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.p. 101
Chapter V Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.p. 132
2 The Sororities
Chapter VI Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.p. 163
Chapter VII Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.p. 213
Chapter VIII Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.p. 243
Chapter IX Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.p. 275
3 Conversations
Chapter X The Achievers Talkp. 311
4 General Information
Chapter XI The National Pan-Hellenic Councilp. 423
Chapter XII Membership Informationp. 431
Three Traditional Poems of the Fraternal Movementp. 448
Indexp. 451