AKA convention brings needed infusion to Houston economy
Members of Texas Southern University's Gamma Psi chapter of AKA during the June 2018 program celebrating AKA Inc's donation to TSU. Photo by Aswad Walker.

Recently, Dr. Glenda Glover, the international president and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, penned an op-ed on behalf of the sorority she represents calling for President Biden to chose and confirm a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court as he promisedon the campaign trail.

You can read Glover’s words for yourself below. But before you do, please help a brotha out.

I recognize that all members of the Divine Nine have long and storied histories of service. Leading up to the Nov. 2020 presidential election, these storied fraternities and sororities came together to lead by example and call all Blackfolk to vote in what was billed as the most important election in our lifetime.

That work, and many other Divine Nine service efforts of which I know (too many examples to count–y’all be doing some great work) and those I know nothing about, should be commended and celebrated. But y’all who are ’bout dat Greek life, please enlighten me.

When I read Glover’s official AKA statement saying they not only “stand in support of the Biden-Harris Administration in fulfilling this promise” of seating a SCOTUS sister, but they expect it, I could not remember another time a Divine Nine organization issued an official statement for a specific political cause.

Now, I’m not saying it has never happened. I readily admit, I DON’T KNOW, which is why I’m calling the Deltas, Kappas, Alphas, etc. to point me in the direction of when this has happened in the past (I can be reaches at aswad@defendernetwork.com). Because if it hasn’t; if this AKA statement is the first of its kind–where the hell y’all been?

Black greek organizations are international in scope. Sigma Gamma Rho, Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma members, along with the other Divine Nine folk, are everywhere. Literally everywhere. And with that kind of reach and representation, surely, the AKAs, Deltas, Alphas, etc. have done this before–use their organizational power to call all Blackfolk to rally around a certain position, a certain political stance.

If not… Yo, whassup?!?!

Hence, I’m putting out the call for my Greek sisters and brothers to provide me with the receipts to move me from ignorance to enlightenment, and let me know that this latest AKA statement is just one in a long line of such actions. Because, certainly, y’all issued official statements and calls to action to punish those who participated in the lynching of our people (1920s – 1960s); to sign Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation (1960s); to divest from apartheid South Africa (1980s); to halt the over-policing and over-incarceration of our people (forever); to end medical apartheid and equalize access to healthcare (forever, ever); to fully fund HBCUs at the same level of PWIs (forever, ever); etc.

Because if y’all have failed to flex your divine muscles in very open and official capacities to issue such calls to our people on issues critical to our well-being, y’all need to start following the lead of Black churches (and whole denominations with all kinds of Blackfolk in them pews) that have issued official statements on… Wait a minute. Have they ever lifted their voices in official capacities and sang anything beyond “Amazing Grace”?

Oh, God. COGIC, Baptists, United Methodists, AMEs, holla atcha boy!

OP-ED: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Supports the Expedient Confirmation of a Black Woman to Become the Next United States Supreme Court Justice

By Glenda Glover, Ph.D., JD, CPA, International President and CEO, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®

Steeped in far more than historical significance, the confirmation of a Black woman to the highest court of the land would represent yet another significant step in America fulfilling its promise to African Americans who helped build this country. The appointment of a Black woman to the United States Supreme Court is a long time coming. In fact, it was 55 years ago in 1967 that Justice Thurgood Marshall — the first African American — was appointed to the nation’s high court and 40 years ago in 1981 when Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — the first woman ― was appointed to the Supreme Court. Rather than a long time coming, for many, this appointment is a long time overdue. Either way, the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® stand in support of the Biden-Harris Administration in fulfilling this promise.

Founded in 1908 by African American women who were service-minded scholars, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is comprised of professional women who have succeeded despite unimaginable odds to lead in every area of human endeavor. Sadly, however, there are still “firsts” to be achieved and glass ceilings that still must be shattered.

We are encouraged by the fact that with so many Black women serving as attorneys, state and federal judges, law clerks, public defenders, prosecutors, corporate counsel, law professors and non-profit lawyers ― all fighting on the frontlines of the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in America ― there has never been more qualified Black women ready to meet this moment. It has only been the glaring absence of opportunity that has stunted our progress and impeded the Supreme Court from reflecting the true diversity of these United States. We are now waiting with resigned anticipation that this glaring omission will be corrected with President Biden’s commitment to nominate the first Black woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court by the end of February.

We stand united in the continued fight for Black women to be represented in all arenas important to the progress of our nation, and we are ready to walk arm-in-arm with this administration every step of the way as some of the very best and brightest Black women judges and attorneys are identified, vetted, interviewed, and presented to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.

Finally, we support swift confirmation hearings under the leadership of Senator Dick Durbin, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, leading to a fair vote for the chosen candidate. We also call for the highest level of professionalism befitting the institution and solemnity of the U.S. Senate and worthy of the ultimate nominee’s qualifications and accomplishments for this sacred service.

To witness a Black woman confirmed as a United States Supreme Court Justice for the first time in the Court’s 233-year history will merely affirm what we all already know to be true. There are countless Black women in the legal field who have distinguished themselves as brilliant jurists, fierce advocates, and venerable legal scholars and made tremendous sacrifices to shape the laws of the land and help secure justice for all. Charlotte E. Ray would be one case in point. Attorney Ray was the first African American woman lawyer in the United States. She graduated from Howard University Law School in 1872 upon gaining admission under the name C.E. Ray and was the first woman admitted to the District of Columbia Bar 150 years ago. Described as a woman of “decided ability” and “one of the best lawyers on corporations in the country,” she was unable to sustain her legal practice and was eventually forced to return to teaching. However, Ray’s historic bar admission was the precedent that set the stage for the admission of countless other women to state bars around the country.

This confirmation of an African American woman Supreme Court Justice will be a moment in time when at least one African American woman will no longer be forced to abandon her dream and live beneath her privilege. We know for certain that this hallowed institution will be better with the appointment of an African American woman. That fact serves us all well.


Avatar photo

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...