CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – It’s a sisterhood for many African American women that has withstood the test of time.
As we honor Black History Month, News 2’s Amaris Jenkins looks at her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), and how local sorority sisters now celebrate the success of their sister, Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States.
On Wednesday, January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded on the historically Black campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Women like Charleston County Associate Probate Judge, Tamara Curry, knew from a very young age it was a sisterhood they wanted to be a part of.
“My daughter is an AKA, my sisters are AKAs, all of my aunts are AKAs,” said Judge Curry. “I grew up with AKA in my life, so I always knew- I could not wait until the day that I could wear my own Pink and Green.”
The oldest Greek-letter organization, established by African American college-educated women, AKA now has more than 300,000 members — including many outside of the U.S.
Curry, like all members, always viewed AKA as a true sisterhood. “I don’t care which city you go in, whether or not you move East or West.”
Many members of the sorority have become Civil Rights activists, educators, entertainers, politicians, and just simply role models for young Black girls in the community.
“They were my positive role models and that made me want to be an AKA,” said South Carolina Representative Chardale Murray. According to Murray, seeing members in the community made her want to join. “I know they would be proud right now to know that our generation is carrying what they started.”
Carrying the AKA legacy all the way to the White House.
It was another Wednesday – January 20, 2021 – that Kamala Harris became the first woman, a woman of color, and AKA to be sworn in as the Vice President.
A graduate of Howard University, Vice President Harris, has made it her mission to show young Black girls they can be anything they want to be.
“I’m just elated and extremely proud knowing that particular person who exemplifies excellence, who exemplifies service, and who exemplifies just everything that Alpha Kappa Alpha stands for, represents us daily, ” said Curry.
Vice President Harris represents the fact that working hard, studying hard, and putting in the time is all you need to be anything you want to be as a female, according to Curry.
Harris doesn’t take all the credit herself, though. She credits members of the sorority who came before her, such as Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Dr. Maya Angelou. Even some members from the Lowcountry, like educator and civil rights activist, Septima P. Clark, and the honorable Lucille Whipper.
But the work is far from over.
AKA is within the “Divine 9” Black sororities and fraternities. In 2020, members of the Divine 9 rallied together in support of Harris. Their push to the polls has been cited as a significant factor in her and President Joe Biden’s win.