Black American Sorority Boasts It Has Snagged Michelle Obama’s Acceptance

Michelle Obama is sometimes compared to Jackie Kennedy, but she may now have something in common with another first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. The wife of F.D.R. became a honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, an historically black organization founded in 1908, and the group announced this week at its Centennial Convention in Washington that Mrs. Obama had agreed to join.

The sorority said that once Mrs. Obama is formally inducted into the organization, which has 225,000 members, she can’t become a member of any of the other “Divine Nine” organizations, as black sororities and fraternities are often called. Other honorary members of Alpha Kappa Alpha include the poet Maya Angelou, the late Coretta Scott King and former astronaut Mae Jemison.

But tonight a spokeswoman for Mrs. Obama, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, said: “Because of her respect for each of the historically black sororities and fraternities, her membership is
non-exclusive. She looks forward to working with all of them to help
bring change to their communities.”

Black fraternities and sororities have long been strongholds in the African-American community, taking roles in organizing during the civil rights movement. Most are involved in charitable causes and they enjoy an occasionally friendly rivalry at events such as step-shows. .

There has been speculation on black college campuses in the past year about whether Mrs. Obama would accept an invitation to such a group. Joining different organizations is often seen as an indicator of personality type. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for example, belonged to Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest historically black fraternity. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is a member of Omega Psi Phi.

“I know that there is a very large powerful A.K.A. contingent in Washington, D.C. and Chicago,” said Lawrence Otis Graham, the author of “Our Kind of People:Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” a book examining elite black social organizations.

Mr. Graham attended Princeton with Mrs. Obama and said there was not a chapter of the organization on the campus then. Mr. Graham said the fact that Mrs. Obama hadn’t been a member of a sorority before underscored her lack of “elite” ties in black social circles.

“It definitely gives them bragging rights,” Mr. Graham said of AKA. “She is the Jacqueline Kennedy of this period right now.”

According to Alpha Kappa Alpha, the criterion for consideration as an honorary member is that “prospects have made outstanding achievements that set them apart in their communities and careers.”

SOURCE:  The New York Times:



ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA Worldwide Webcast of Centennial Celebration Events:



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  1. SjP

    {i’m justa grinning from ear to ear}

  2. Ann

    Grinning, eh? 🙂

    So, I take it you are an AKA sister?

  3. mrphd2be

    You might want to find a Delta or two and couple Zetas and SGRho’s…Michelle accepted the invitation as a “Non-Exclusive” member of that sorrority…which means that she can also join any other sorrority that extends and invitation…somehow I think she might be the first member of Alphadeltazetasigma Sorrority Inc. LOLOLOL! AJAJAJAJAJAJA!!!

  4. Ray

    Michelle Obama membership may be non-exclusive, but other sororities do not permit people who have join other black sororities, so she can be and will be a SISTER FRIENDS OF DST, ZETA and SGHRO.

  5. Keira

    These sororities like to sell themselves as being exclusive, but what they’re really interested in is claiming famous members so that they’ll have greater bragging rights than the next pointless sorority.

    If Michelle Obama hadn’t been on her way to becoming First Lady in July 2008, would the AKA’s have requested permission to grant her “honorary membership”?

    Never. Fifty years ago, she wouldn’t have passed the infamous ‘brown paper bag test,’ so why do they want her now?

    Oh the irony of having to beg Mrs. Obama to join their so-called illustrious group, only to have her turn around and make it clear that she doesn’t want to be an exclusive member.

    The AKA’s were banned from my college’s campus for a whopping FOUR YEARS for one of their vicious, mean-spirited, pledge process antics. I don’t think Michelle Obama should be accepting membership in their group at all.

    But since she did, I think it’s smart for her to have insisted that her membership with the AKA’s be non-exclusive. Glad to see that she did the prudent thing and ignored the silly competition between a bunch of inconsequential groups.

    Honestly, don’t your groups ever wonder why so few black Ivy League graduates pledge your fraternities and sororities? Because they’ve already gotten all the real connections they need by attending Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. All of which is worth a heck of a lot more than some pointless membership in your childish, powerless organizations. Just keep “steppin.” It’s about the only thing your groups do that is of any value. I mean, it’s not like you have to join a fraternity or sorority to do community work.

    • Ken

      I take it you were denied membership. You seem to be bitter. Get over it and do some research as to the benefits these wonderful organizations have provided and continue to provide.

    • RonAKA

      I’m agreeing w/Ken. You’re definitely bitter! Skee-Wee! 😉

  6. IntellectPassPrestige

    mrphd2be: you can drop the “Delta” out of that org – we pass. :-p

    Kiera: “Because they’ve already gotten all the real connections they need by attending Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. All of which is worth a heck of a lot more than some pointless membership in your childish, powerless organizations.”
    SMH – you haven’t a clue. Just FYI, our orgs do have graduates of Ivy League schools (including self) as members. And we are proud and active – so I’d suggest that you drop that point from your war chest. Also, be clear that yes – some members have participated in undesirable activities hence the suspension and expulsion list. BUT OUR ORGS ARE FAR FROM POINTLESS – and worthy of being judged on standards not based on stereotypes & assumptions. Since you sound to be status-stricken, just check our programs – past and present. How do they measure up to your programs and efforts? As for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, we are a SISTERHOOD – not some mere snobby networking club existing for folks looking to get ahead for SELFISH means. We work to help our communities get ahead. I’d suggest that you work on steering clear on the generalizations – especially when they are based on hearsay and possibly bias, ill-informed perspectives.

  7. Spence

    Now kierra’s post was funny….yet true…these organizations are worthless; I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw this……my mom is an AKA and she said all of the organizations are occults and do not represent any sisterhood at all…it’s all fake and young people have been hood-winked into thinking that these organizations help the community…PLEASE….it goes to show you that with all the networking that these ridicules organizations that call themselves “ELITE” …Michelle Obama and now PRESIDENT OBAMA achieved it own their own merits with the Good Lord By their Side and not some satantic organization trying to say they were founded on Christian principles…you were not…its all a lie…and most people know it….its just no ones wants to say anything and harm your feelings…but I do not care just like kierra doesn’t care….SEND THESE ORGANIZATIONS BACK TO HELL!

    • Brittany

      Wow you, as well as Kierra, are both extremely ignorant. Basing your opinions off of generalities and stereotypes is ridiculous. If these organizations are so worthless then why have they left such a strong legacy? Why do the same people we look up to, who have paved the way in the past, belong to these organizations such as Martin Luther King, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt belong to these “worthless” organizations. You have NO IDEA what you are talking about.

    • suPEARLative

      Based upon your “ridicules?” (ridiculous) ability to spell, it is evident that you “own” (on) your own merit, failed “AKA”demically, “DST”inctively, and “Rho”ally to qualify for consideration into any of these organizations. Rejects tend to be the harshest critics!

  8. BrItTnEy

    CoNgRaTs mIcHeLlE

  9. Its Not Happening

    Michelle Obama has declined AKAs offer of honorary membership because of the scandal of AKA’s National President allegedly stealing money from AKA and other misdeeds.

  10. Get The Facts Sweetie

    Re: Its Not Happening

    So not true…get your facts straight honey

  11. Its Not Happening

    My facts are straight. It is not going to happen. Michelle Obama will not be an honorary member of AKA.

  12. PrettyIvy1908

    Unless you are member of my Beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, you don’t know what you speaking on in regards to Mrs. Obama membership. She never declined. There was a reason to postpone her final commitment with the ceremony which won’t be discussed. I wish all these non-greeks that were rejected remain silent. Her press secretary stated that in error because whites can join more than one organization. That isn’t happening in the Divine 9. She still had the credentials to become an honorary member without being Mrs. Obama. Do your research on honorary members in all our organizations. They come from a variety of backgrounds.

  13. Dominicpak


  14. Anita

    Shout Out!!!! To The Haters!!!! It is so not pretty to hate and be ignorant. Get the facts before speaking on a matter in which you have no clue. Ken I never agreed bitterness from a woman who was denied membership. To Spence stop taking advice from non-Greeks an inactive member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. By the way Inactive mean she does not have a clue of what’s going on today with the organization. Seriously,

  15. MzAKA

    SKEE WEE MY SORORS SKEE WEE!!!!!!!! FIrst lady you made the right decision.. To Joing the Best of the Best AKA!!! So to all the AKA haters out there you all can get lost or become greek.. SKEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  16. It is diheartening to see us dialogue in such a disrespectful manner when someone challenges the status quo of these exclusionary organizations. We should be focused on building not, breaking. Cronyism is harmful to our society. Just look at the results of these behaviors have caused in the educational systems of metropolises like Atlanta, Kansas City, and Washington DC. The Divine Nine might consider seeking a scholarly evaluation of their impact…

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