monrovia, liberia

LIBERIA. Monrovia. June 25, 2003. One of the most influencial weapons in the rebel forces are the 12.7 belt-fed anti-aircraft guns, mounted onto the backs of pick-up trucks. LURD forces advance on the capital during the Siege of Monrovia (2003). Second Liberian Civil War (1999-2003).

Photograph: Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos

10

TSOCG presents day two of Black History Month 2014: “The Divine Nine”

These are the nine historically Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) that together comprise the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). The NPHC was created in an era when racial segregation and disenfranchisement plagued African Americans. The establishment of each of these organizations bore witness to the fact that despite hardships African Americans refused to accept a status of inferiority.

The organization’s stated purpose and mission in 1930:

“Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.: Founded December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Its founders are known as the “Seven Jewels” and its principles are “manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind.” Its motto is First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All.

Alpha Phi Alpha evolved into a primarily service-oriented organization and provided leadership and service during the Great Depression, both World Wars, and during the Civil Rights Movement. The organization addressed (and still addresses) social issues such as apartheid, AIDS, urban housing, and other economic, cultural, and political issues of interest to people of color. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and World Policy Council are programs of Alpha Phi Alpha. It also conducts philanthropic programming initiatives with March of Dimes, Head Start, Boy Scouts of America, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Notable members of Alpha Phi Alpha: Jamaican Prime Minister Norman Manley, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Olympian Jesse Owens, Justice Thurgood Marshall, United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, singer Lionel Richie and Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.:Founded January 15, 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by a group of twenty students, led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle.  Alpha Kappa Alpha was incorporated on January 29, 1913.

After the organization’s establishment over a century ago, Alpha Kappa Alpha has helped to improve social and economic conditions through community service programs. Members have improved education through independent initiatives, contributed to community-building by creating programs and associations, such as the Mississippi Health Clinic, and influenced federal legislation by Congressional lobbying through the National Non-Partisan Lobby on Civil and Democratic Rights. The sorority works with communities through service initiatives and progressive programs relating to education, family, health, and business.

Notable members of Alpha Kappa Alpha: actress Loretta Devine, actress Phylicia Rashad, author Toni Morrison,  and vocalist Cassandra Wilson.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.: Founded as Kappa Alpha Nu on the night of January 5, 1911 by ten African-American college students at Indiana University Bloomington.

The motto of the fraternity is, “Achievement in every field of human endeavor”. During this time there were very few African-American students at the majority white campus at Bloomington, Indiana and they were a small minority due to the era of the Jim Crow laws. Many African-American students rarely saw each other on campus and were discouraged or prohibited from attending student functions and extracurricular activities by white college administrators and fellow students. African-American students were denied membership on athletic teams with the exception of track and field. The racial prejudice and discrimination encountered by the founders strengthened their bond of friendship and growing interest in starting a social group.

Some believe the Greek letters Kappa Alpha Nu were chosen as a tribute to Alpha Kappa Nu, but the name became an ethnic slur among racist factions. Founder Elder Watson Diggs, while observing a young initiate compete in a track meet, overheard fans referring to the member as a “kappa alpha nig”, and a campaign to rename the fraternity ensued. The resolution to rename the group was adopted in December 1914, and the fraternity states, “the name acquired a distinctive Greek letter symbol and KAPPA ALPHA PSI thereby became a Greek letter fraternity in every sense of the designation.” Kappa Alpha Psi has been the official name since April 15, 1915.

Notable Members of Kappa Alpha Psi: Gospel musician Byron Cage, comedian Cedric “The Entertainer” Kyles, and Civil Rights leader Ralph D. Abernathy.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.:  Founded on November 17, 1911 by three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Omega Psi Phi is the first predominantly African-American fraternity to be founded at a historically black university.

Since its founding, Omega Psi Phi’s stated purpose has been to attract and build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift.

In 1924, at the urging of fraternity member Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity launched Negro History and Literature Week in an effort to publicize the growing body of scholarship on African-American history. Encouraged by public interest, the event was renamed “Negro Achievement Week” in 1925 and given an expanded national presence in 1926 by Woodson’s Association for the Study of Negro Life as “Negro History Week.” Expanded to the full month of February from 1976, this event continues today as Black History Month.

Since 1945, the fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action Program to meet the needs of African Americans in the areas of health, housing, civil rights, and education. Omega Psi Phi has been a patron of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) since 1955, providing an annual gift of $350,000 to the program.

Notable members of Omega Psi Phi: poet Langston Hughes, comedians Rickey Smiley, Steve Harvey, and Bill Cosby.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Founded on January 13, 1913, by 22 collegiate women at Howard University. These women wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need. The first public act of Delta Sigma Theta was the Women’s Suffrage March in Washington D.C., March 3, 1913. Delta Sigma Theta was incorporated as a perpetual body in 1930. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is the largest African-American Greek-lettered organization.

Since its founding, Delta Sigma Theta has been at the forefront of creating programming to improve political, education, and social and economic conditions. Delta Sigma Theta has been pivotal in assisting the African American and International communities through education, lobbying, and economic initiatives, including Delta Days at the State and Nation’s Capitol, Delta Days at the United Nations, Summits and various conferences which focus on pertinent issues of the day. In addition to establishing independent programming, The Sorority consistently collaborates with community and corporate organizations Such as Chase (bank), Habitat for Humanity, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Lawry’s, and General Electric to further its programming goals.

Notable members of Delta Sigma Theta: actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, singers Natalie Cole and Roberta Flack, and athlete Wilma Rudolph.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students with nine other Howard students as charter members. The fraternity’s founders (A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown) wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would exemplify the ideals of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service while taking an inclusive perspective to serving the community as opposed to having an exclusive purpose.

The fraternity exceeded the prevailing models of Black Greek-Letter fraternal organizations by being the first to establish alumni chapters, youth mentoring clubs, a federal credit union, chapters in Africa, and a collegiate chapter outside of the United States, and is the only fraternity to hold a constitutional bond with a predominantly African-American sorority, Zeta Phi Beta (ΖΦΒ), which was founded on January 16, 1920, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., through the efforts of members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

Notable members of Phi Beta Sigma: George Washington Carver, James Weldon Johnson, Kwame Nkrumah, and activist Hosea Williams.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.:  Founded on January 16, 1920 by five collegiate women (Arizona Cleaver Stemmons, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings, Fannie Pettie Watts, and Pearl Anna Neal) at Howard University. The organization was founded “on the simple belief that sorority elitism and socializing should not overshadow the real mission for progressive organizations – to address societal mores, ills, prejudices, poverty, and health concerns of the day.”

In 1948, Zeta Phi Beta became the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (in Monrovia, Liberia). It was also the first organization to establish adult and youth auxiliary groups and centralize its operations in a national headquarters. Today, there are also chapters in U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bahamas, Japan, Korea, Barbados, and Haiti.

Zeta Phi Beta is the only NPHC sorority that is constitutionally bound to a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma. The sorority also maintains connections to several organizations including the NPHC, American Diabetes Association, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, National Council of Negro Women, and the United Negro College Fund.

The sorority also holdsZeta Day on the Hill, which provides an opportunity for Zetas to exercise another level of civic responsibility by learning the protocols for interacting with and the knowledge needed to maximize engagement with congressional representatives. As members of a “Community Conscious-Action Oriented” organization, Zetas schedule meetings with their representative or their representative’s designee to discuss, during brief sessions, issues of interest to the local, state and national Zeta membership.

On January 25, 2001, Zeta Phi Beta was granted Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status with the United Nations.

Notable members of Zeta Phi Beta: author Zora Neale Hurston, singer Sarah Vaughan, comedienne Sheryl Underwood, singers Minnie Riperton and Towanda Braxton.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.:  Founded on November 12, 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven young educators. It was incorporated within the state of Indiana in December 1922 and became a national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted and the Alpha chapter was established.

The sorority is a non-profit whose aim is to enhance the quality of life within the community. Public service, leadership development and the education of youth are the hallmark of the organization’s programs and activities.

Founded in the midst of segregation, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is the only sorority of the four historically African-American sororities in the NPHC that was established on a predominantly white campus.

Notable members of Sigma Gamma Rho: singer Kelly Price, rapper MC Lyte, and actress Victoria Rowell.

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.: Founded on September 19, 1963 at Morgan State University (then Morgan State College) in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The fraternity was founded in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement even though there were already four other prominent historically Black fraternities at the time. Influences included organizations such as the Black Panthers, SNCC, and figures such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. The Iota founders were distinguished from their peers as they were all non-traditional students. Being anywhere from three to five years older than their peers, many had served in the military, worked full-time while attending classes full-time, and had families with small children. These elements gave the Founders a different perspective than the typical fraternity member.

A key appeal of Iota Phi Theta is that, as an organization, it refuses to have its members bind themselves to a defined fraternal image but celebrates the individuality of its members.

Notable members of Iota Phi Theta: actor T.C. Carson and athlete Calvin Murphy.

The importance of the “Divine Nine”: During the time in which the first BGLO was established, African Americans across the country were faced with the harsh realities of race-related discrimination. As a result of the various situations that stemmed from these discriminatory practices, various organizations established by the African American community began to surface and some of them were Black Greek Letter Organizations. Since 1906—the founding year of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.—nine fraternities and sororities (affectionately known as the Divine Nine) have had the privilege of developing and establishing chapters throughout the United States and the world. The establishment of these brotherhoods and sisterhoods brought together men and women who were passionate about the goals and ideals of their organization and made a commitment to work together to make a difference in the world in which they lived.

More than this, they gave networking opportunities and all of the other benefits of being a member of a Greek-Letter Organization to people who were barred entry from the historically White Greek-Letter Organizations. The NPHC organizations stand apart from all others in that at their core stand scholarship and service to the community.

I am a proud and active member of an NPHC sorority myself, the lovely, alluring, remarkable, and oh SOOOOOO SWEET Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. I love my organization, and I love my fellow black greeks…the history of all of our organizations shine brightly in all of our missions.

laugh.grow.change.[serendipity]

anonymous asked:

*SLAMS TWO SHINY NICKELS DOWN* GIVE ME ALL YOU WANT TO TELL ABOUT MONROE PLS

FINALLY here are A FEW of my FAVORITE/MOST INTERESTING facts about my second favorite founding father! 

  • James Monroe is the youngest founding father, born in 1758 in Virginia. 
  • He had one sister and three brothers- one of whom (Spence) died when he was fifteen. Monroe was very close with his mother, who was also his teacher until he was eleven and at the age of sixteen his father died.
  • 1774 was also the year he started College of William and Mary and was a devoted student. He started with intentions of studying law- but dropped out months later to enlist in the 3rd Virginia Regiment in 1775. 
  • June 1775, Monroe, and other students joined twenty four older men in raiding the arsenal at the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg. They used the loot of 200 muskets and 300 swords to arm the Williamsburg militia. 
  • During the Revolutionary War, he served under General George Washington, and was an aide de comp for General Stirling. 
  • In 1776, James Monroe was a hero at the Battle of Trenton. He was sent in an earlier boat across the Delaware River by General George Washington to scout. He nearly died at the battle, wounded at Trenton- he was shot in the left shoulder, he bled fast because the bullet severed an artery and he only survived because the volunteer medic stuck his finger in the bullet hole to stop the bleeding. He carried the shrapnel in his shoulder for the rest of his life. 
  • In John Trumbull’s painting The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776, Monroe can be seen lying wounded at left center of the painting. In the famous painting by Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, Monroe is depicted holding the American flag.
  • In 1777, after the Battle of Brandywine, George Washington sent for French speaking James Monroe to stay with Lafayette (who had been shot at the battle) throughout the night. According to Lafayette, James Monroe spent the entire night talking about how much he loved Thomas Jefferson. (Giles)
  • Monroe also wintered at Valley Forge, eventually reaching the rank of Colonel in the Virginia service. 
  • During the time that Monroe was stationed with Aaron Burr- Burr fell in love with Theodosia Prevost; and so did James Monroe. (Isenburg)
  • In 1780 the British invaded Richmond, and Governor Thomas Jefferson commissioned Monroe as a colonel to command the militia raised in response and act as liaison to the Continental Army in North Carolina.
  • Monroe did not return to William and Mary after the war, but finished his legal training with then Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson who became one of his closest correspondents along with James Madison.
  • James Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth Monroe, had a particularly close relationship and married in 1786. Their warm family life is illustrated by his wife and two daughters, Eliza and Maria (they had a son but he died at sixteen months), who all accompanying Monroe on nearly all his official travel, including diplomatic assignments in France and Great Britain. 
  • During their time in France, the James and Elizabeth attended Napoleon I’s Coronation in Notre Dame Cathedral. Elizabeth was very strong and instrumental in fighting for the Lafayette’s rights and land as well as making sure while Marquis de Lafayette was in prison, his wife–Adrienne de Lafayette–wasn’t guillotined and got her freedom. 
  • The Monroes also provided support and shelter to the American citizen Thomas Paine in Paris, after he was arrested for his opposition to the execution of Louis XVI. 
  • Did you know that James Monroe once almost got into a duel with Alexander Hamilton? They both squared up in the home of Monroe’s family-in-law before Hamilton declared a duel to which Aaron Burr stopped from happening. 
  • Monroe moved to Albemarle County, Virginia to be near his friend and mentor, Thomas Jefferson. His farm Highland actually shared a border with Jefferson’s Monticello. With the addition of their colleague James Madison—whose home in Orange County, Virginia was situated on their way to and from Washington. Three presidents of the United States were neighbors. 
  • When Monroe was Governor of Virginia in 1800, hundreds of slaves from Virginia planned to kidnap him, take Richmond, and negotiate for their freedom. Due to a storm on August 30, they were unable to attack. Monroe influenced the Executive Council to pardon and sell some slaves instead of hanging them.
  • 1803, Thomas Jefferson sent him to France to assist Robert Livingston with the negotiation of New Orleans. Finding Napoleon strapped for cash and willing to sell the entirety of the Louisiana Territory, Monroe took advantage of a deal that would double the size of the nation.
  • As Envoy to Spain, Monroe took a journey by mule from Paris to Madrid to negotiate with Spain for the Floridas. 
  • During James Madison’s presidency, James Monroe held TWO cabinet positions at once–Secretary of War and Secretary of State. He was the only person in America’s history to of held TWO cabinet positions at the same time. 
  • Monroe’s first presidential term was coined the Era of Good Feelings.
  • His inauguration was the first ever to of been done outside. 
  • His daughter–Maria–was also the first to be married at the white house!
  • James Monroe was the first president to travel by steamboat. Towns across the country greeted him with parades, lavish dinners, and other grand events. The city of Charleston, South Carolina actually barbecued an ox in honor of his visit.
  • 1820, Monroe saw no opposing candidates, and he was re-elected with all but one electoral votes. The one electoral vote against him was the result of a man who wanted George Washington to be the only president elected unanimously. This was the last time the United States saw a candidate run without serious opposition- Monroe was the only president besides Washington to do so.
  • James Monroe has a song about him written at the time of his presidential campaign called “Monroe is the man”. 
  • One time, William Crawford (secretary of treasury) called on Monroe at the White House to suggest a list of appointments he wished the President to approve. However, Monroe objected to Crawford’s list and said that he intended to make his own. Crawford lost his cool and snapped at the President, “Well, if you will not appoint persons well-qualified for the places, tell me whom you will appoint that I may get rid of their opportunities!”. The President was not intimidated by Crawford, telling his Treasury Secretary, “Sir, that is none of your damn business.“ Crawford was not easily intimidated, either (he killed a man in a duel years earlier). Monroe’s remark led Crawford to charge at the 67 year old President with his cane, waving it at Monroe while calling him a “damned infernal old scoundrel.”  Monroe was quick to grab two red hot tongs from a nearby fireplace for self-defense and threatened to personally throw Crawford out of the White House. 
  • Monrovia, Liberia is the only foreign capital in the world named after a United States president. 
  • Monroe was recognizably old-fashioned in choosing his attire. He was the last president to dress in the style of the Revolutionary War era (which was considered outdated) and was called nickname “The Last Cocked Hat.”
  • WHILE LIVING IN THE WHITE HOUSE- JAMES MONROE HAD A PET SPANIEL.
  • James Monroe was sent a drawing of a penis while he was president with a goofy note. 
  • Because the white house burned down in the War of 1812 and the white house fund was broke- James Monroe had to dip into his own pocket to fix the white house and provide dinners for his guests. His wife Elizabeth chose all of the inside decor and furniture! By the time he finished his presidencies, he had lost his Virginia estate and was $75,000 in debt partly due to his wife’s poor health who likely had epilepsy and severe burns from when she collapsed near a fire. 
  • James Monroe burned his correspondence with his wife after she died. He also burned many of his papers/letters in an attempt to keep a private life. When Elizabeth died, he predicted he would not live any longer. Elizabeth had been his political adviser and James frequently sought her advise.  
  • Shortly before his death, James Madison and James Monroe (best friends and rivals) sent each other a heart felt letter. Monroe felt that he was fading and sent Madison a letter detailing how much he thought of him, and appreciated him, loved him through the years and how depressed he was that he would never see Madison ever again. Madison, getting emotional (who knew) sent him a letter back, scolding him that he shouldn’t be so negative because Monroe was going to get better and they were going to be able to hold one another again. Monroe never did get better. 
  • Like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson before him, James Monroe died on July 4th on the 55th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. 
  • Monroe’s last words were, “I only regret that I should leave this world without again beholding him.” you wondering how this “him” was? IT WAS FUCKING JAMES MADISON. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT JAMES MADISON WHEN HE DIED. 
  • After his death, family were careful to place James in perfect alignment next to his wife.