Since the early 1900s, Black Greek Lettered Organizations have served communities everywhere, instilling and encouraging pride and integrity in each of its members. While these organizations work diligently to uplift their surrounding communities through various activities, many on the “outside looking in” often wonder about them. Some even ask some of the strangest questions, especially now with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority member, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Some inquiries usually come from an innocent curiosity. However, some are a little far-fetched. Here are a few things members of Black Greek Lettered Organizations wish everyone knew:
- Not everyone knows Each Other. There are thousands of members in each organization worldwide. Many individuals became members during their undergraduate collegiate studies, others after they graduated from college. Each person’s journey was different at a different location. While it would be an excellent thing for everyone to know each other, the reality is, they do not.
- Not everyone is on the Step Team. Yes, step shows, and the art of stepping is associated with BGLO’s, but everyone does not and cannot step. Besides, there are plenty of other tasks that members are responsible for, and it might not be a good idea to ask someone to do a step routine while in public randomly.
- We Get Along. Many people hear the different chants and banter during step shows. Some even see it on social media or witness it at other times. While each organization takes pride in itself and believes that it is the best on the planet, the truth is that they get along and work together to serve their surrounding communities. The various chants and banter are solely for fun.
- Not everyone is a member of the Same Chapter. There are hundreds of chapters for each BGLO. Each chapter has different service projects, activities, and fundraisers for various purposes to serve and uplift their communities. There is not one colossal chapter that every member belongs to.
- “I Was Going to…” Many people want, wanted, or had the opportunity to become a member of one of the organizations, and of course, some do not. However, if you had a chance to become a member, but things did not go as planned, it may be best to keep that bit of information to yourself. Sharing it with a member of the organization you were interested in may leave you with a response you were not expecting if you receive a response at all. This is not to be rude or arrogant, but honestly speaking, how would you expect them to respond?
- Letters, Numbers, Names Oh My! People who have the privilege of being a part of the Divine Nine have learned and earned the right to wear the letters across their chests, backs, and on their arms. While you may see certain things on shirts, jackets, chains, etc., please know that these things are sacred and have a special meaning. The respectful thing to do is admire up close or from afar, but please do not ask what they mean.
These are just a few things members of BGLO’s want people to know for their non-member’s sake. While people may or may not have questions, it is best to think about what you want to ask or say as a common courtesy to the person and the organization. When you see someone who is a part of the Divine Nine, remember they are a part of something whose sole purpose is servitude.
Liz Lampkin is a Love, Relationships, and Lifestyle writer. Follow her on social media @Liz_Lampkin