Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's Centennial Boule Time!

Beginning yesterday and continuing through next Friday, the predominant fashion color for more than 20,000 sisters around Washington DC will be salmon pink and apple green.

Those 20,000 women I'm talking about are the sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. the first and the oldest African-American sorority. They will be returning to the city where the organization was born for the Centennial Boule.

AKA was founded on the Howard University campus one hundred years ago on January 15, 1908.

I come from a long line of AKA's. My mom, sister and several cousins are members and may be walking around DC as I write this. When I lived at home, I used to read my mom's Ivy Leaf magazines when she and my sis were done with them. I drove Mom to more than a few of her grad chapter meetings after I acquired my license and even DJed a few of her chapter's Christmas parties before I transitioned. I lived next door to one of the founding members and basileus of my mom's grad chapter and grew up in a neighborhood full of AKA's. The sorority has touched my life and the lives of many people in many ways even if I was the wrong gender at the time for membership.

The Boule is AKA's biennial national convention that moves around so that the nine US AKA regions (the tenth is the international one) get the opportunity to host it. In milestone years such as this one, they return to Washington DC, which hosted the 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversary Boules as well.

In addition to staying true to its mission of service to all mankind, empowering women and uplifting our people, AKA has stood tall for justice as well. AKA members were not only involved in the civil rights movement, but are making trailblazing strides in all areas of our society uncluding the frontiers of space.

Centennial Supreme Basileus Barbara A. McKinzie has not only focused on a economic empowerment message during her tenure, she has spoken out against the disrespectful comments of Don Imus directed at the Rutgers University women's basketball team and the recent racist flavored ads the Tennessee GOP was running against Michelle Obama.

One hundred years later, Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown from its humble beginnings at Miner Hall to an international women's organization with over 200,000 members in various fields.

Mattel has even created an AKA Barbie in honor of the centennial, the first doll its ever done based on any sorority, much less an African-American organization.

Skee-wee and have a memorable week in Washington DC, ladies.

No comments: