African-American fraternities and sororities are social organizations that predominantly recruit black college students and provide a network that includes both undergraduate and alumni members. These organizations were typically founded by Black American undergraduate students, faculty and leaders at various institutions in the United States.


Prince Hall Freemasonry (PHA) is the first historically Black fraternal organization. The first Greek Letter fraternal organization was Alpha Kappa Nu at Indiana University in 1903. Wilberforce University is where Gamma Phi was established in 1905. Sixty miles away at Columbus, Ohio in March 1905, Pi Gamma Omicron was founded at Ohio State University (formation originally reported in the Chicago Defender in 1905). CC Poindexter, a graduate of Ohio State University, went on to Cornell University, where he established the Alpha Phi Alpha Society. This society became Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Established on December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha is the first Black intercollegiate (having more than one college chapter) fraternity.[citation needed]

Alpha Phi Alpha's success inspired the founding of other intercollegiate Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs). Today, these organizations (fraternities and sororities) are known collectively as the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and emphasize public service and civil rights. Some non-NPHC Black fraternal organizations, such as the Swing Phi Swing and Groove Phi Groove fellowships, do not solely use Greek letters in their names.[citation needed]

The first professional Black Greek letter fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi, was established in Pennsylvania in 1904.[citation needed]

Early formation (attempted or not existing today)

Name Year formation attempted Incorporated Collegiate Greek lettered
Alpha Kappa Nu 1903 No Yes Yes
Pi Gamma Omicron 1905 No Yes Yes
Gamma Phi[1] 1905 No Yes Yes
Gamma Tau[2]: 34  1934 No Yes Yes


Name Founded Incorporated Collegiate Greek lettered NPHC
Prince Hall Freemasonry 1775 Yes No No No
Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World 1897 Yes No No No
Sigma Pi Phi 1904 Yes No Yes No
Alpha Phi Alpha 1906 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kappa Alpha Psi 1911 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Omega Psi Phi 1911 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Phi Beta Sigma 1914 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wine Psi Phi[3] 1959 Yes Yes Yes No
Nu Gamma Alpha[4] 1962 Yes Yes Yes No
Iota Phi Theta 1963 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Phi Eta Psi 1965 Yes Yes Yes No
MALIK Fraternity 1977 Yes Yes No No
Phi Delta Psi 1977 Yes Yes Yes No
Sigma Phi Rho 1979 Yes Yes Yes No
Delta Psi Chi 1985 Yes Yes Yes No
Beta Phi Pi [5][6] 1986 Yes Yes Yes No
Megisté Areté (Christian)[7] 1989 Yes Yes No No
Nu Gamma Psi[8] 1994 Yes Yes Yes No
Phi Rho Eta 1994 Yes Yes Yes No


Name Founded Incorporated Collegiate Greek lettered NPHC
Alpha Kappa Alpha 1908 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Delta Sigma Theta 1913 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Zeta Phi Beta 1920 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sigma Gamma Rho 1922 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Iota Phi Lambda 1929 Yes Yes Yes No
Eta Phi Beta[9] 1942 Yes Yes Yes No
Tau Gamma Delta[10][11] 1942 Yes Yes Yes No
Gamma Phi Delta 1943 Yes Yes Yes No
Zeta Delta Phi[2]: 100  1962 Yes Yes Yes No
Kappa Theta Epsilon 2009 Yes No Yes No

Non Greek Organizations

Name Founded Incorporated Collegiate Greek lettered NPHC
Groove Phi Groove - males 1962 Yes Yes No No
Swing Phi Swing - females 1969 Yes Yes No No
Malika Kambe Umfazi - females[2]: 107  1995 Yes Yes No No

See also


  1. ^ The History of Fraternities and Sororities in America
  2. ^ a b c Walter M. Kimbrough (2003). Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. ISBN 978-0-8386-3977-1.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Calvert Fine (2003). Soulstepping: African American Step Shows. University of Illinois Press. pp. 159–. ISBN 978-0-252-02475-7.
  4. ^ Black History Month the Divine Nine
  5. ^ Beta Phi Pi History
  6. ^ Seo, Byung-In, and Aaisha N. Haykal (2018). Chicago State University. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 45 of 127–. ISBN 9781467129794.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Sisterhood acts on foundations of Christianity, friendship
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Nina Mjagkij (2013). Organizing Black America. Routledge. pp. 195–. ISBN 978-1-135-58123-7.
  10. ^ National Council of Negro Women, Inc. National Affiliates Assembly
  11. ^ The Pittsburgh Courier from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · p. 6, August 14, 1971