On Thursday, Sep. 21, in the Wharton Center, Michigan State University's National Pan-Hellenic Council hosted a Yard Show, an annual event consisting of nine historically African American fraternities and sororities, also known as the Divine Nine.
The Yard Show is a series of performances where the Greek life organizations showcase their group's history through performances – such as speeches, dances and chants – in front of other chapters. Hundreds of students wore their chapter's paraphernalia and held signs to support their brotherhood and sisterhood.
“It’s about the culture and appreciation of everyone,” event organizer Joya Bailey said. “We want to see nothing but unity. We are here to have a great time.”
And the fraternities and sororities did just that. Attendees would cheer after a performance or introduction and join in the festivities by dancing or singing along to the music.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., founded in 1906, was the first Black-led fraternity, and the first to perform at the event, setting the bar for the groups that followed. Eight men performed while the leader held a whistle.
The group performed a creative and synchronized dance to multiple hip-hop and R&B songs while stopping the music every few minutes to explain the songs' histories.
The group members also listed their founding members in unison: Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle and Vertner Woodson Tandy.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was the first Black-led sorority to be founded not only in Michigan, but also in the United States. The organization was orginally founded at Howard University in 1908.
During this display, three members performed chants and a walkthrough of the group's history.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was founded in 1911 at Howard University. The group's performance also featured skits, as well as the chant, "we are them dogs," which elicited cheers from the audience.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
One sorority member, kinesiology senior Mecca Muhammad, performed for over seven minutes, showcasing elaborate dances and a plentiful supply of confetti. She shared that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1913 at Howard University by 22 women. She said all 22 names, followed by the whole audience cheering, and finished with a dance and a chant.
“We are the best," Muhammad said. "We set the standard on this campus.”
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Two women performed and spoke about what sisterhood means to Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., their history and more. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1922 at Butler University and founded at MSU in 1968 by seven educators. The two women who performed recited all seven names and finished by discussing the chapter's vision.
Although these three Greek organizations did not perform at the Yard Show, members of each group still attended the event and made their presence known with chants during an initial roll call.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded in 1914 at Howard University and in 1967 at MSU. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded at Howard University in 1920 and in 1969 at MSU. Finally, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. was founded in 1963 at Morgan State University and has made its way to MSU within the past 50 years.
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