Article: "SAC Votes to Support New Black Fraternity"

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Article: "SAC Votes to Support New Black Fraternity"


Alpha Phi Alpha organizes on W&L campus after initial dissolve.


Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically black Greek letter organization, was established in 1906 at Cornell University. The Alpha chapter of the organization was initially founded as a support organization used to bond men of African descent with one another against the racial prejudices that they faced at their university. Through its expansion, Alpha Phi Alpha has been driven to use their resources, scholarship and service to uplift their communities and combat social injustices, serving as civil rights leaders and driving factors behind the education of young black people.

Young black students faced a similar difficulty at Washington and Lee as their founders did at Cornell. At a predominantly white institution, black men found it difficult and often impossible to be recognized in the same social circles/organizations as their peers. In order to find community and support amongst themselves, they founded a chapter at W&L in the 70s which dissolved. Trying again in the 90s, they faced both support from the Student Activities Committee and backlash from their peers who viewed the manifestation of Alpha Phi Alpha as separatist and harmful to the movements W&L attempted to make towards a more diverse student body. However, Alpha Phi Alpha's establishment as a representative of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) changed what a fraternity's purpose could be, shifting from merely participation in a social organization to an active (physical and mental) engagement with the community, a love for their brothers and a richly infused culture to be inherited. This RTP article contains both the SACs and a peer’s response to the formation of the chapter.


Joshua Manning


Ring-tum Phi




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Newspaper Article




Joshua Manning, “Article: "SAC Votes to Support New Black Fraternity",” Black General, accessed May 19, 2024,