Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity 115 years

The local Alpha Phi Alpha chapter, Delta Pi Lambda will celebrate 115 years since its founding with a virtual jazz night on Dec. 3, followed by taking part in the Christmas parade on Dec. 4. 

Also called the Black Belt Alphas, the chapter will present the jazz show on its Facebook page, featuring Montgomery based musician and fraternity member Amon Robinson at 7:06 p.m. 

Fraternity member and local business owner, Daryl Thomas, will serve as the grand marshal for the parade. 

After the parade the Black Belt Alphas will be present from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church MLK to take donations of "inspirational books, new white socks/white t-shirts, for persons affected by the justice system."

“Founders’ Day is an important day not only for members of the fraternity, but also our community at large," said chapter president Edward Armstrong in a press release.

"It allows us to honor the legacy of Alpha Phi Alpha Founders and reaffirm our commitment to our lofty ideals of: Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for All Mankind. Additionally, the events we’ve scheduled for Founders’ Day 2021 reflect the values of service to our communities.”

According to Robert Stewart, who is chairman of Founders’ Day and the chapter’s civic engagement committee, members have included people such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Bernard Lafayette, and Attorney Charles Hamilton Houston.

In the press release Steward criticized a recent decision by Gov. Kay Ivey to use COVID relief funds to build prisons and said that the chapter will be collecting donations to raise awareness of the rate of incarcerations. 

"What’s more, America has the highest incarceration rates in the world," he said. "On the state level, in 2017 African Americans made up 28% of the Alabama population, while making up 54% of the prison population."

"As a predominately black men’s organization, we cannot remain silent. For this reason, we are collecting these items (books, white socks) for incarcerated persons to raise awareness of mass incarceration and to amplify our advocacy to combat it.”

Fraternity member and Selma City Council President Warren “Billy” Young expressed the chapter's dedication to education and community outreach.

“The mission of Alpha Phi Alpha is to develop leaders, promote academic excellence, and to provide service and advocacy for our communities," he said.

"We are particularly pleased that the chapter has incorporated an educational component for members of our community who for far too long have been overlooked. We are looking forward to celebrating the true mission of Alpha Phi Alpha in the Black Belt this December.”

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