Sorority Life: Then and Now

Journey down memory lane with Black sorority sisters, past and present.

ESSENCE.COM Jan, 04, 2016

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Journey down memory lane with Black sorority sisters, past and present.

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1946: A group portrait of the Ivy Leaf Club of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, gathered to plan the year’s Flirtation Ball, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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1953: Marian Anderson and members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority receiving an award at the Philadelphia Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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1962: Members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority have tea at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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1966: Members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority greet the Lady Bird Special in Richmond, Virginia.

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1967: Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority members prepare for a cultural event.

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1968: Actress and singer Etta Moten Barnett and members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority at the Ben Franklin Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 

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2008: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members bottom to top: Khadija Burns from Northeastern, Tiffany Clark from Northeastern, Myeschea Joell from Boston University and Cristina Wells from Wellesley College, perform during Step Fest 2008 at Northeastern's Matthew's Arena in Boston.

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2008: National Council of Negro Women Chairman Dorothy Height, seated, receives a greeting from Del. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, who has come to say a few words to the thousands gathered for an AKA Rally in Washington D.C.

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2008: A view of the centennial celebration and unity march of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, the nation's first Greek-letter organization founded by African American college women, on the West Front of the Capitol in Washtington D.C.

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Members Barbara Freeman and Consuelo Pettigrew join thousands of sorority sisters arriving and registering for the Alpha Kappa Alpha centenniel celebration.  

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2008: A soror baby attends the Unity Day March in Washington D.C. with her mother and aunt her who are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha.  

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2008: Crystal Cotten Faison embraces a fellow soror Audrey Bennett at the Unity Day March in Washington D.C.  

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2008: A view of the centennial celebration and unity march of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, the nation's first Greek-letter organization founded by African American college women, on the West Front of the Capitol in Washtington D.C.

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2014: Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. March & Rally at Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia.  

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2015: A proud Alpha Kappa Alpha Soror wears her pin to work in  New Orleans.

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2015: An Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority performs at Gabrielle Union's "School Daze" birthday celebration Step Show at The Basement in Miami, Florida.

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1945: Deltas gather around a table in the dining room of Stanley's Tavern in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

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1945: Sorority of Delta Sigma Theta, Mu Chapter, pose for a group portrait at the YWCA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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1950: Members pose at a banquet 

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1950: Members of Detla Sigma Theta stand proudly at their cotillion. 

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1950: Members of Detla Sigma Theta take a group photo at their cotillion. 

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1950: Dorothy I. Height, civil rights activist and member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, welcomes a new pledge. 

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1954: Dorothy Height addresses officers and members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, as they gathered around a table at the YWCA in Pittsburgh.

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1955: Dorothy I. Height, civil rights activist, stands with other members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which received club of the week honors.

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1956: Delta Sigma Theta sorority memebrs pin corsages on each other at a social event.

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1956: Deltas pose in lovely dresses.

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1956: Sorors enjoy an elegant banquet.

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Members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority hold toys for chrity at Morgan State University i Baltimore, Maryland, 

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1963: Edith Greene and members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority gather at Howard University.

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1964: Members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority pose with their greek letters in Maryland.

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1964: Members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority greet President John F. Kennedty. 

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1965: Members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at Morgan State University hold a meeting.

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1968" Members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at Hampton Institute, in Hampton, Virginia.

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1969: Sorors chat befor an event.

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1970: Secretary and members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority pose for a photo in Virginia.

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1970: Members hold up a "We Need Love" heart sign on Valentines Day.

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1980: Members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at a conference during an election in Hartford, CT.

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1999: Members of Baltimore's Delta Sigma Theta sorority pose with their letters.

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2000: Halle Berry walks against breast cancer with members if Delta Sigma Theta at Bowling Green State University.

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2000: Members of CSUN's sorority Delta Sigma Theta perform to showcase the history of stepping in fraternities and sororities.

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2009: Howard University's Delta Sigma Theta Sorority step team members practice for their homecoming step show.

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2012: Capitol Hill staffers who are members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., pose for a picture in the Cannon rotunda on the 99th Founder's Day in Washtington D.C.

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2013: The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority float participates in the 124th Tournamernt of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. 

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2013: The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority participates in the 124th Tournamernt of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.  

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2013: Sorority sisters celebrate 100 years of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. at Howard University in Washington, DC.

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2013: Sorority sisters from around the country celebrate 100 years of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. at Howard University in Washington, DC.

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2013: A member prouldy holds up the Delta symbol at the celebration of 100 years of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. at Howard University in Washington, DC.

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2013: Sorority sisters retrace the footsteps of their founders during the 100th year celebration of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. at Howard University in Washington, DC.

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2013: Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc  are dressed as the 22 founders that participated in the Women's Suffrage March of 1913 in Washington D.C. 

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2015: U.S. Attorney General and Delta Sigma Theta member Loretta Lynch speaks to sorors at her nomination in January. 

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2015: Delta Sigma Theta sorority members, in red, listen during a Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing for Loretta Lynch in Washington D.C. 

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1950: Members of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority pose with their letters.

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Zeta Phi Beta sorors dressed in white for their cotilion.

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1951; Zeta Phi Betas in matching outfits.

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1951: Members of Zeta Phi Beta decked out in their Sunday best.

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1951: Zeya Phi Beta sorors pose outside on a warm day.

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1951: Members chat at an event.

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1958: Members of Zeta Phi Beta dressed to impress.

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1958: Sorors perform for their chapter.

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1961: Members if the Zeta Phi Beta sorority donate food for charity.

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1961: Members of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority pose outside in their finest furs and tweeds.

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1961: Sorors take a group photo at an event.

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1961: Members of Zeta Phi Beta wave flags and cheet at an event.

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1961: Zetas pose outside on campus.

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A member crowns her soror sister Miss Blue Revue during the Zeta Phi Beta pageant.

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1965: Soror Sisters pose at a pageant.

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Co-Chairman Mrs. Winfred Bell presents citations to young girls at the "Spotlight on Youth" program sponsored by Zeta Zeta Zeta Chapter, Zeta Phi beta sorority during "Finer Womanhood Week." 

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2010: California State University Sacramento Zeta Phi Beta sorority members step with confidence at the Sprite Step Off Service Challenge in San Fransisco.

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2010: Members of the Grambling State University Psi Beta chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority compete for the win in the annual Bayou Classic Battle of the Bands and Greek Show in New Orleans.

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2014: Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. participate in the 2014 Martin Luther King, Jr. March & Rally in Atlanta.  

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2015: Zeta Phi Beta sorors recruit new members in front of their booth in the student union at the University of Central Florida.

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1962: Members of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority stand outside for a Christmas tree lighting at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

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1968: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority presenting debutantes at a Denver Hilton Hotel ball in Oakland, California.

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1974: Debutantes and their Escorts wait to be preseneted.

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1970: Boston members address invitations to a Cotillion Ball in Denver, Colorado.

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1981: Sorors help each other with the finishing touches on their gowns prior to a Sigma Gamma Rho dinner and ball in Denver.

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1990: Members meet up for an event.

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1993: Members of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority during a Founders Day celebration in Baltimore, Maryland.

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1993: Members of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority seated for a portrait during a Founders Day celebration in Baltimore, Maryland.

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The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority step team from the University of Illinois perform for scholarship prizes at the Sprite Step Off in Chicago.

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2010: Sorority members perform at the Sprite Step Off Service Challenge in San Francisco.

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2010: Kids from the Boys and Girls club dance with the steppers of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority from the University of Louisiana during the Sprite Step Off Service Challenge at Park Forest Middle School in Baton Rouge, LA. 

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2013: Member MC Lyte speaks during the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Public Meeting to kickoff the 71st Northeastern Regional Conference in Dorchester, Massachusetts. 

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2015: Sorors remember their sister Sandra Bland in Lisle, Illinois. 

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2015: Ashley Turner and other members of her sorority pose for photos as they make a video for their Florida Atlantic University Sigma Gamma Rho chapter, in Miami's Wynwood art section.

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# Culture