Black History Month

The Legacy of The Divine 9

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

With the recent election of Vice President Kamala Harris, there is a renewed interested in Black Greek life, also known as the Divine 9. 

Nine Black sororities and fraternities also known as the Divine 9 were formed during a time when Blacks were not allowed to join similar social organizations on college campuses.

During her nomination acceptance speech, Vice President Kamala Harris made history speaking about her chosen family membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Harris told the crowd: “Family is my beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha, our Divine-9 and my HBCU (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) brothers and sisters.”

It was a moving moment for members of the Divine 9 including Bianca Bennett. She’s a senior at Florida Memorial University and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. 

Bennett told NBC 6: “When I saw our Madam Vice President representing for the Divine 9 I just felt like… we are being recognized for our greatness.”

Nine Greek Organizations with one common goal, each group working together to make a difference in their community.

Many think joining a sorority or fraternity is exclusively for college, but membership continues through life.

Anthony Henderson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He joined the organization almost 30 years ago.

Henderson told NBC 6: “It’s not just for 4 years, it’s really and truly for life. Once we get our degrees- one we matriculate into the workforce- we still want to give back. We still want to do community service projects.”

Many of these organizations were founded in the early 1900’s. Each group comes with its own history, many fought in the Civil Rights Movement and for the right to vote including the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

And while these groups are nonpartisan, many felt an extreme sense of pride when Harris recognized their shared mission and was elected.

Henderson told NBC 6: “There is always going to be barriers in life, especially as a minority, as a black young mand or a black young lady… We are out there making a difference in the community.”

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