Monday night the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated hosted Tribute to a Black Woman. This program was held in honor of the "mother" of their organization, Mrs. Annie Singleton, to show their appreciation to women and other women giants.
The night started off with the gentlemen passing out yellow roses to all the women guests, which represented the yellow roses given to Annie Singleton by General Myles Paige at her memorial.
The brothers hand picked five women, four being of the different Greek sororities, to high light because of their efforts, strength, courage. They chose five women of the same affiliation to represent the women of their organization. Maya Angelou, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., was played by Latresa Williams; Mary McLeod Bethune, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was played by Cristen Martin; Zora Neal Hurston, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., was played by Jasmine M. Williams; Hattie McDaniel, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., was played by Angela Marshall; and last but not least Mahalia Jackson was played by, their very own Miss Black and Gold, Mersadez Hogan.
"I really appreciated getting to play the role of Mahalia Jackson," Hogan said. "I admire her for leaving the South and moving to Chicago in such a severe racist time and becoming a gospel singer. I have a new profound respect for her for sticking to what she believed in which was Jesus Christ."
The women high lighted in the program were new to some members of the audience. Their life struggle were even shocking to some listeners.
"I learned that those five ladies were true women of essence," freshman Genoris Bridges said. "They were great women and because of their struggle for us to have a better life, I am motivated to make good decisions; because of them I have a blessed life."
Agreeing with Bridges, Martin said she definitely gained a lot of knowledge about the women in history. She was very impressed with the women affiliated with Greek life and did not know how much they contributed to the future of Black people.
The struggles of Maya Angelou had the audience in awe. Most people only think of her as a pro-Black woman poet, but there is much more to Maya Angelou than what meets the eye.
"I would like to hear the story of Maya Angelou in its entirety," Martin said. "I think Maya Angelou is poetry as far as black people are concerned, and she is a phenomenal woman." Bridges said she thinks Maya Angelou is a true black woman, because she experienced things most women couldn’t endure and she is still living and inspiring the lives of blacks today.
The evening ended with the brothers giving honor and praise to the guest of honor Dr. Dorothy Alexander, dean of Basic Studies. Because of her hard work, initiative attitude, and all of her many accomplishments, she received their most prestigious award, the Annie B. Singleton Award, to whom the evening was dedicated.