The oldest Greek-letter Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, is on alert at American University after several bananas were found on campus hanging from a stringed noose with their initials inscribed on them. One of the bananas also bore the inscription, “Harambe bait.” The bananas were found on Monday, May 1, 2017, and is a cause for concern.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. issued a joint statement in response.
NPHC is comprised of local councils drawn from the ranks of 1.5 million college and professional members of the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, and the Council of Presidents of these member organizations who come together on issues that promote the common purposes and general good for which these organizations were founded and still exist.
We, as the Council of Presidents, stand together with our membership against all forms of racism and discrimination. As anti-racism organizations, we are committed to purposefully identifying and challenging issues of race and color and their impact on our members and others.
We want to emphasize the urgency of the situation at American University where bananas were hung from trees on strings in the shape of nooses marked with the letters AKA which is a common reference to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and call for the University’s administration to find effective means to help ensure that unwarranted attacks on our members will not be tolerated. We expect institutions of higher learning to be places where inclusion and diversity are celebrated and not attacked.
Council of Presidents:
Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Thomas L. Battles, Vice Chair, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Mary Wright, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Robert Clark, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
Everett B. Ward, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Paulette Walker, Chair, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Jonathan A. Mason Sr., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Deborah Catchings-Smith, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Antonio (Tony) Knox, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.