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Do you know the history of Juneteenth?

June 19th is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Up until then, because of the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery still existed in the state of Texas. After the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance from slaveowners and set blacks free.

Major General Granger read the following proclamation to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began with the following:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

Now, Juneteenth is celebrated as a holiday by African-Americans across the United States. Check out the following videos to learn more about its history and how it became a holiday.

Watch this more detailed documentary created by the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture:

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Alphas

The First Black Mayor of New York, David Dinkins, Is a Member of Alpha Phi Alpha

Did you know that the first Black Mayor of New York, David Dinkins is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha?

Dinkins crossed the Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at Howard University in 1984 where he graduated cum laude with a degree in mathematics in 1950.

Here is a picture of the Beta Chapter in 1950. David Dinkins is on the far left and Andrew Young, the man who would become the mayor of Atlanta, is the 6th brother from the right.

Dinkins received his LL.B. from Brooklyn Law School in 1956 and started a private practice from 1956 to 1975 while he rose to the head of the Democratic party in Harlem.

In 1966, Dinkins briefly served as a member of the New York State Assembly (78th D.) and later served as the president of the New York City Board of Elections (1972–1973) and New York City Clerk (1975–1985). In 1985, he became the Manhattan borough president and on On November 7, 1989, Dinkins made history by being elected mayor of New York City, defeating Republican nominee Rudy Giuliani in the general election.

After serving as mayor Dinkins served as a Professor of Professional Practice in the Faculty of International and Public Affairs at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Dinkins, who is currently in his 90s, is a pride to his fraternity and in 2013 members of the Wall Street Alphas and the Beta Chapter Alumni Association (BCAA) hosted a special tribute to him at the Red Rooster Harlem. The event — entitled “An Alpha Man from Gotham” – brought together members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. across several generations to honor the legacy of Dinkins.

Check out this video the event below.


Video by Sun Chase Media

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Alphas

Woody Strode: The Definition Of Alpha Phi Alpha Badass

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If you want to know about manliness, hard work and grit, look no further than Alpha Phi Alpha’s very own, Woody Strode.

Strode was a college track and football star at UCLA, one of the first Blacks to integrate the NFL, a professional wrestler, a Golden Globe nominated actor, and a WWII veteran. This man was the definition of a renaissance man, keep reading this article and you will understand exactly why.

Strode was born in Los Angeles on July 25, 1914, the son of a Creek-Blackfoot-African-American father and a Cherokee-African-American mother. He grew up in South Central and became so good at sports(track and field/football) that he made it to UCLA and played alongside Jackie Robinson and Kenny Washington, both who broke the color barriers of baseball and football in the 1940s. His world-class decathlon capabilities were spearheaded by a 50 ft (15 m) plus shot put (when the world record was 57 ft (17 m)) and a 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) high jump (the world record at time was 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)). While in college, Strode joined UCLA’s Alpha Phi Alpha chapter. Strode’s athletic physique was so appealing that a nude portrait of him was featured in Hubert Stowitts’s acclaimed exhibition of athletic portraits shown at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The exhibit was closed because the Nazis did not agree with the inclusion of black and Jewish athletes being show in such a powerful light.

When World War II broke out, Strode was playing for the Hollywood Bears Football team but quit to join the United States Army Air Corps and spent the war unloading bombs in Guam and the Marianas, as well as playing on the Army football team at March Field in Riverside, California.

In 1941, Strode married a real life princess. Strode’s first wife was Princess Luukialuana Kalaeloa (a.k.a. Luana Strode), a distant relative of Liliuokalani, the last queen of Hawaii. That same year he began his career as a professional wrestler and made his film debut in the movie “Sundown.”

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Woody then went on to play professional football for the LA Rams from 1946-1948 and then the Calgary Stampeders, eventually retiring in 1949 to focus on acting. Between 1941 and 1962, Strode was billed as the Pacific Coast Heavyweight Wrestling Champion and the Pacific Coast Negro Heavyweight Wrestling Champion.

Strode’s exercise regimen was that of a superhero and nothing more than epic. He performed 1000 free squats, 1000 sit-ups, and 1000 pushups every day until he turned 40, at which point he reduced the numbers to 500.

Strode was noted for film roles that contrasted with the stereotypes of his time. He is probably best remembered for his brief Golden Globe-nominated role in Spartacus (1960) as the Ethiopian gladiator Draba, in which he fights Kirk Douglas to the death. By the time he died on New Year’s Eve, 1994, he had worked with such legendary directors as Cecil B. Demille (The Ten Commandments), Lewis Milestone (Pork Chop Hill), Stanley Kubrick (Spartacus), Sergio Leone (Once Upon A Time in the West), and John Ford (Sergeant Rutledge, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance).

Strode died of lung cancer on December 31, 1994, in Glendora, California, aged 80. He is buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

Strode was an Alpha Man and an Alpha male. Nothing could stop him and he did whatever he put his mind to. Please share this piece of history with your networks on Facebook and remind them that Alpha Phi Alpha does not play when it comes to influential members.

Click on the arrow below to see our gallery of VERY VERY badass photos of Strode throughout the years.

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Back In The Day

Check out These Vintage Photos of HBCU Women’s Sports Teams From the Early 1900s

Time for another blast from the past!

This time we have collected a list of HBCU women’s sports teams and athletic groups from the early 1900s.

Enjoy!

The women’s rifle team, Howard University, Washington DC, 1937.

Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

FAMU Students and instructors with tennis equipment. Tallahassee, Florida. 1915.

TILLOTSON COLLEGE: Women’s Basketball Team

Samuel Huston women’s basketball team.

Lifesaving practice at Howard University

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