No one can deny the history and deep rooted legacy of the Black Greek organizations. These organizations were initially established to encourage leadership, racial pride and academic excellence while confronting injustices like Jim Crow. The list of contributions made to the world by these sororities and fraternities as well as from members in various fields and professions including artists, politicians, inventors, educators, civil rights leaders, athletes and more are numerous and have played an important role in shaping this country. Some notable African American Greeks include tennis player Arthur Ashe (Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity), singer and actress Lena Horne (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority); educator and civil rights leader, Mary McLeod Bethune (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority); historian, activist and author, W.E.B. DuBois (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity); Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, Jr. (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity); actress Phylicia Rashad (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority); author Toni Morrison (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority); comedian, radio personality and TV host, Steve Harvey (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity) and many more. Despite the extensive list of accomplishments, past and current, there are rumblings questioning the relevance of African American Greek Organizations today (see post ‘The Divine Nine…Are They Still Relevant’).
Co-Director/Producer, Jared Henderson launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce ‘Beyond This Place,’ a documentary focused on examining the culture, relevance and role of Black Greek organizations in the twentieth century. His goal was to raise $30,000. The trailer featured great the great Nikki Giovanni (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority) along with others sharing their views on this matter. On October 28th with only 2 days left on the Kickstarter campaign and an impressive amount of $11,714 raised, he canceled the campaign and moved his fundraising efforts to IndieGoGo. We wish him the best of luck and much success!