Monday, January 14, 2008
TransGriot Note: Chances are if there's an African-American woman who is making histry or trailblazing into new territory for our people, nine times out of ten she's a member of a Divine Nine sorority. These are some of the distinguished members of AKA, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary. But remember the quote from the movie Stomp The Yard, you make the letters, the letters don't make you.
Famous Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Maya Angelou - first African-American poet to read at a presidential inauguration, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, award winning novelist and honored in Fifty Black Women Who Changed America.
Ella Fitzgerald - Internationally famous classical jazz artist, named outstanding performer of the year for eighteen consecutive years by Downbeat Magazine, the jazz industry bible and honored in Fifty Black Women Who Changed America.
Dr. Mae Jemison first African-American woman astronaut.
Coretta Scott King - activist and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change and Civil Rights Activism and founder of The National Political Congress of Black Women, Inc.
Toni Morrison - author of Pulitzer Prize winning Beloved, first African-American to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature and honored in Fifty Black Women Who Changed America.
Jada Pinkett-Smith - accomplished actress whose movies include Set it Off, Menace to Society, and Jason's Lyric.
Alice Walker - Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, Civil Rights Activist, poet, and honored in Fifty Black Women Who Changed America Lynn Whitfield, humanitarian and actress staring in The Josephine Baker Story, Thin Line Between Love and Hate, and Eve's Bayou.
Sonia Sanchez - author and poet.
Eleanor Roosevelt - activist and wife of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Jomarie Payton Noble - humanitarian and actress, star of Family Matters.
Leah Tutu - wife of South African activist Bishop Desmond Tutu.
Ethel Hedgeman Lyle
Founder and "The Guiding Light" of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Founder of Hull House, one of the first homes for wayward girls Chicago, Illinois.
First African-American woman to sing at the Metropolitan
Former Congresswoman from California and first woman to chair the Democratic National Convention.
The first woman President of the United Nations.
Yvette Lee Bowser
Producer of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and A Different World, and creator and executive producer of Living Single.
Bebe (Elizabeth) Moore Campbell
Accomplished Author of Brothers and Sisters and Your Blues Aint Like Mine. Many of her writings have been featured in major publications including the New York Times magazine and The Washington Post.
Crowned Miss America in 1984, contemporary singer and actress
Award-winning actress. Appeared in Roots and the Broadway play The Raisin in the Sun.
Alice Coachman Davis
First African-American woman in the world to win a gold medal and first American female to win a gold medal in track and field.
Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delaney
The second African-American female to receive a dentistry license in New York; a Civil Rights Activist
Sarah “Sadie” Delaney
Educator, Businesswoman, and Author; Co-authored the book, Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years
Internationally famous jazz singer, known as the "First Lady of Song".
Bettiann Guena Gardner
Co-Chairwoman of Soft Sheen Products.
Won a gold medal and a bronze medal in 1988 for tennis doubles and singles respectively.
A pioneer in amateur tennis and professional golf.
Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant
Advice Columnist for Essence.
Basketball Player for the Washington Mystics and Author of a book that Chronicles her success.
Dr. Marilyn Hughes-Gaston
Assistant Surgeon General.
Shirlee Tailor Haizlip
Author of The Sweeter The Juice.
Carmen de Lavellade Holder
Renowned ballet dancer and theater actress; Performed in A Portrait of Billie, based on the life of Billie Holiday; Professor at Yale University.
NBC Meteorologist and St Louis Emmy Award Winner.
CEO/owner of Radio One, a multimillion dollar corporation.
Dr. Mae Jemison
Became the first African-American woman astronaut in 1992. She is also a noted physician. She has done medical studies in Cuba, Kenya, and Thailand.
Prima ballerina, one of the original members of the Dance Theatre of Harlem; has made guest appearances in other major ballet companies.
Starlet Jones is a lawyer, former assistant district attorney and former NBC news correspondent; Former 2nd Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Also a former legal analyst for Inside Edition, Today, and Nightly News. former co-host of the ABC-TV Show "The View".
Coretta Scott King
Civil Rights Activist, Director of Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change and Civil Rights Activism.
Gladys Knight Parker
Accomplished singer and actress.
Granddaughter of founder Ethel Hedgeman Lyle.
Granddaughter of founder Ethel Hedgeman Lyle and President of Panache Productions.
Jewell Jackson McCabe
President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Lt. Col. Anita McMiller
Deputy Legislative Assistant to Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff.
Actress and Activist for space exploration; star Role as Lt. Uhura of Star Trek.
Jomarie Payton Noble
Humanitarian and actress; star of Family Matters.
Mother and manager of singer/actress Brandy Norwood.
United States Secretary for the Department of Energy.
Considered to be the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement", for refusing to give up her seat to a white man in 1955. Her actions launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for one year.
Suzanne de Passe
Chairman and CEO of de Passe Entertainment.
Septima Poinsette Clark
A Civil Rights activist and trainer of many great civil rights activists.
Tony award winning Actress on the award-winning Cosby show and the TV series Cosby.
One of the first African-American actresses to cross the color lines and play the wife of a White man on the television series “The Jeffersons”; Mother of rock star Lenny Kravitz.
Humanitarian and former First Lady of the United States.
Noted author and poet.
Author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.
Actress whose works include: The Nutty Professor, Set it Off, Menace to Society, A Different World, and All of Us.
First African-American female to get a PhD.
First U.S. Woman Ambassador to the United Nations.
Dr. C. Delores Tucker
National Chairman of the National political Congress of Black Women.
Dr. Debbye (Deborah) Lynn Turner
Crowned Miss America in 1990; Humanitarian
Madame Leah Tutu
Wife of South African activist Bishop Desmond Tutu.
Author of 10 books and Public Inspirational Speaker.
Marjorie Judith Vincent
Crowned Miss America in 1991.
Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-CA)
The first Black woman to preside over the California State Senate.
The first woman to head the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Humanitarian and actress. She is the star of The Jospehine Baker Story.
Dorothy Cowser Yancy
President of Johnson C. Smith University.
Current President of Liberia and the first female head of state of a continental African nation
Grammy award winning artist and producer.
Educator and Founder of her own private school on Chicago's west side
Dr. Debi Thomas
physician and first African-American woman to medal in the Winter Olympics (1988 Calgary)
bobsledder and first African-American woman to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics (2002 Salt Lake City)