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Happy Founders’ Day, Alpha Kappa Alpha! Happy Birthday, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!



Today is January 15, a glorious day in American history. It is the birthday of one of the most outstanding civil rights leaders of our time, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the anniversary of the founding of the first Greek-lettered sorority for college-educated African American women, Alpha Kappa Alpha.  


Since 1986, Dr. King’s birthday has been recognized as a federal holiday. Because of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, it is observed on the third Monday of January. This year, the King holiday is celebrated on January 18. Due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities around the country are foregoing typical MLK festivities and opting for virtual commemorative celebrations. 


On January 15, 1908, one generation removed from slavery and just 21 years before the birth of Michael King Jr., who would later change his name to Martin, 16 African American women students at Howard University, in Washington DC, officially united to form Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, with a mission to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life, and to be “Supreme in Service to All Mankind."


Today, Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown to a membership of 300,000 throughout the United States and abroad. While several notable women are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, currently, its most famous member is Kamala Harris, the next vice-president of the United States. Harris was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha while a student at Howard University.


Dr. King’s personal history is also intertwined with Alpha Kappa Alpha. While a graduate student at Boston University, he was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha, the first collegiate Greek-letter fraternity for African American men. It was not uncommon for Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha members to become couples, as was the case with King and his wife, Coretta, an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. 


So on this day, if you see a woman wearing pink and green, AKA letters, and a pearl necklace, be sure to wish her a Happy Founders’ Day. Also, be mindful that Dr. King would be 92 years-old today had he not been assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Let us remember these two icons of African American culture and American culture; both focused on civil rights and service to all. Happy Founders’ Day, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated! Happy Heavenly Birthday, Rev. Dr. King! 

Gratitude for the King

"I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I am not concerned with that now. I just want to do God's will." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the 41st anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Several streets are closed here in Miami and his son Martin III spoke at a gathering today. I tried but I wasn't really feeling this day. For various reasons that I won't discuss right now; I don't like remembering and celebrating the death of someone especially someone who dies tragically.

Celebrating birth and life? I'm down for that. There is so much written and otherwise documented about Martin Luther the King that I have my personal, internal celebration similar to the Moments of gratitude shared on January 15.

Regardless the reason, it's always great to see people come together to celebrate Dr. King. His name must mean more than a day off or a name on streets and schools throughout the United States. As a matter of fact, now, more than ever the lessons of Dr. King are needed as we overcome the dire straits this nation world finds itself in.

Thank you, Dr. King!


© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


First Lady Michelle Obama Helps Needy in DC


Whether you agree with their politics or not, you must admit that, the Obamas have changed the flavor of America. They really are the leaving, breathing version of the Huxtables they just have fewer kids.

It's not likely that their desire to serve the public and help those in need is fabricated. Neither Barack or Michelle Obama were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They are hard-working, accomplished Americans who still remember their roots and that's refreshing.

It's almost unbelievable that the First Family is so much like many of the families I know. They still don't seem to have bought into the isolation of the presidency and restraint of constant security. They are the family that this country needs during this time.

While Michelle Obama's wardrobe may include more designer fashions than usual for her, she is still very much every woman. It was great to see her helping at Miriam's Kitchen in DC. I just can't imagine Cindy McCain doing the same thing without somehow seeming out of place.

Don't get twisted, I'm not implying that Cindy McCain's a bad person just that it would be difficult for her to relate to the financial issues many Americans are facing since she comes from American wealth.

Until our country's economic situation bottoms and then balances itself out, we need the encouragement and assurance of the Obama Family to help see us through.

Photo: Sloan/Getty


© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.