We Weren't the First African-American Greek-Letter Fraternity to be founded...
The truth is while other fraternities took pride in being founded first, or having exclusive membership, Phi Beta Sigma became the movers and shakers of the Greek world. We put our famous phrase "Our Cause Speeds on Its Way" to use very quickly. In fact, you may find yourself surprised at the things we, Phi Beta Sigma, did first (only to find the other fraternities imitating us, as usual)
However, we are definitely the Fraternity of First...
First to use a Shield.
First to have a Fraternal motto.
First Fraternity to have Presidents of other countries in its membership (Hon. Bros. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Nnamdia Azikiwe, William Tolbert, and William Tubman) No other Fraternity Except WYF can even claim a nation's President in its membership.
First and ONLY Black Greek-Letter Fraternity to have one of its members on the face of a U.S. Coin. (George Washington Carver: The 1951 Half Dollar) Only 2 African Americans have EVER been on the face of a US coin: George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington--who was not Greek.
First Black Greek-Letter Fraternity to be recognized by Howard University April 15, 1914 ( WYF wasn't until October 28, 1914).
First Fraternity to be offered a merger with another Fraternity: (1915: Kappa Alpha Psi, formerly Kappa Alpha Nu...Thanks, but no thanks!!!)
First Fraternity to hold a joint International Convention with another African-American Fraternity (WYF).
First black fraternity to go south of the Mason-Dixon line (Beta Chapter-Morgan College, Wiley College) That is the REAL reason they call us country boys.
First and ONLY Fraternity to establish a constitutional bond with a Sorority (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.).
First Fraternity to establish a youth auxiliary program (The Sigma Beta Club).
First Fraternity to own and operate a Credit Union for its members.
First Fraternity to establish chapters within the Continent of Africa.
First Fraternity to establish Graduate/ Alumni Membership.
First Fraternity to establish a Graduate/Alumni Chapter.
First Fraternity had the dog (we dropped the tag shortly after WYF copied it from us).
First fraternity to step.
First Black Fraternity to go into the deep south (Zeta Chapter- Clark @Atlanta, GA).
Summer 1914 moved into the largest Negro fraternity house at Howard University.
First Fraternity to step with a cane ( later imitated by KAY).
Many Fraternities may have supported the Million Man March, but only
PHI BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY, INCORPORATED
Can lay claim to not only supporting, but sponsoring the March at its International Headquarters.
Co-founded the Pan Hellenic Council, the governing body of the fraternities/sororities.
The original idea of establishing a Panhellenic Council came in 1922 when Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma were both hosting their National Conventions in Atlanta at the same time. The two fraternities held a joint meeting and proposed that the established fraternities and sororities work together more harmoniously. During this meeting both sides agreed to urge the other fraternities and sororities to join up. Because of the need for unity and the proposal from these two fraternities, nine years later it became a reality. The official creation of the NPHC took place in 1930. In 1935 Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma met again repeating the previous historical situation of 14 years before. Two of the Omega Founders, Dr. Oscar J Cooper & Dr. Edgar A. Love personally visited the Sigma Conclave to extend greetings.
There have been more members of Phi Beta Sigma serving as National President of the NPHC than any other NPHC fraternity or sorority.
Sigma Founder Dr. Leonard F Morse became the first male student at Howard University to earn 2 degrees and 2 diplomas in three years of college.
If you didn't know...now you know!!!
We are often IMITATED, but we can never be DUPLICATED!!!