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African American Fraternities - Phi Beta Sigma

By Edited May 7, 2016 0 0

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc

Phi Beta Sigma

Symbol:  Dove

Date Founded:  January 9, 2014

Colors:  Royal Blue and White

Motto:  Culture for Service and Service for Humanity

Headquarters:  Washington, DC

 

The African American Fraternity of Phi Beta Sigma was founded January 9, 1914 on the Campus of Howard University.  The founders, A. Langston Taylor, Charles I. Brown, and Leonard F. Morse had the option of joining other fraternities that had recently been founded at Howard University, but instead sought to create their own fraternity. They envisioned an organization of men who stood on the principles of brotherhood, scholarship and service, ideals which serve as the cornerstone of the group to this day.

One of the earliest and arguably the most powerful vision that the founders sought after was to establish a group that involved itself in the community and not set itself apart from it.  This led to acceptance of members based on merit and not things like social influence, family affluence, race, religion, skin tone or texture of hair. By becoming a fraternity that was an “inclusive we” vs. an “exclusive we” the men of Phi Beta Sigma have been able to service communities all across America and beyond its borders.  It is also a strong tradition that once Phi Beta Sigma men acquire new talents that they use them to enhance their communities instead of using them solely to establish gains for themselves and their families.  This deep seeded belief resonates in the group's motto, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.” 

One of the fraternities most well-known acts of service was delivered by A. Phillip Randolph in 1934 when he organized the union known as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Up until this union’s organization, Porters suffered long work weeks with no overtime and low wages. Randolph’s leadership and diligence played an instrumental part in the amendments to the Railway Labor Act which helped Porters gain the rights they desired. Randolph also led the union as it negotiated with the Pullman Company and successfully obtained shorter work weeks, overtime pay and $2 million in pay increases which equates to roughly $33,031,194.03 in today’s dollars.

To date the fraternity has grown to multiple organizations such as the Phi Beta Sigma National Foundation, Sigma Academy, the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union, Phi Beta Sigma National Marrow Donor Program, and The Sigma Beta Club Foundation, to name a few. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, was also founded in 1920 with the help of one of the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma. Zeta Phi Beta is the sister organization of the Fraternity and upholds many of the same values that Sigma’s hold dear to their heart.

Famous Sigma’s

Science and Education:

Alain Leroy Locke-First African-American Rhodes Scholar

George Washington Carver-World famous Scientist

Rod Paige-Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Bill Clinton-Former U. S. President

Heads of States:

Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe-First President of Nigeria

Kwame Nkrumah-First President of Ghana

William V.S. Tubman-Past president of Liberia

Entertainers:

J. Anthony Brown-Comedian

Bobby Jones-Gospel Singer

Terrance Howard-Actor

Ellis Marsalis-Jazz musician

The Temptations-Singers

Blair Underwood-Actor

Athletes:

Emmitt Smith-Football player (NFL’s all time leading rusher)

Jerry Rice-Football player (NFL’s all time leading receiver)

Braylon Edwards-Football player

Willis McGahee-Football player

Joey Porter-Football Player

Eddie Payton-Football player

Dominique Rogers-Cromartie-Football Player

Willis Reed-Basketball Player

Karl Malone-Basketball Player

AL Joyner-Track and Field

 

 

Website:  www.pbs1914.org

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