Welcome

The Little Rock Alumni Chapter welcomes you.
We hold our chapter meetings at Parkview High School, at 5:30pm every third Saturday.

The Little Rock Alumni Chapter has the following Undergraduate Chapters under it’s jurisdiction:
Theta Epsilon - University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Beta Tau - Philander Smith College
Pi Lambda - Arkansas Baptist College

Chapter History

In 1936, there were over fifteen brothers in the state of Arkansas who had been initiated into the fraternity at different colleges. They desired to have a chapter started. Contact was made to the brothers throughout the state by letters and also telephone messages.

In the spring of 1938, seven brothers from Little Rock and Pine Bluff came together to form a club named Kappa’s of Arkansas. They solicited the aid of Oliver W. Crump, a professor at Wiley College, who at the time was Polemarch of the Southwest Province.

August 3, 1938, would see the chartering of the Little Rock Alumni Chapter. This chapter, in the beginning, was composed of the following brothers:

  1. Harry P. Browne – Mu Chapter, University of Kansas. Doctor of Pharmacy; Meharry Medical College (MDD) College Physician at AM&N (UAPB) also a Practicing Physician, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  2. Hugh A. Browne – Mu Chapter, University of Kansas (AB), Howard University (MD). The first Superintendent and Medical Director of the McRae Sanitarium, a State Institution for Black Tubercular patients. It was located 15 miles west of Little Rock. One of the four physicians that integrated the white medical society. Pulaski County, State of Arkansas, AMA and the Hospitals. A recognized authority on tuberculosis. Second Polemarch of the chapter, fifth Provincial Polemarch of this province and Chairman of the Old Extension Committee of the Grand Chapter that regulated the initiation of both undergraduate and alumni brothers also the establishment of chapters at the various colleges in the United States. 33rd Degree Mason – Alexander, Arkansas.
  3. Sherman L. Green – Delta Chapter, Wilberforce University (AB), Payne Seminary (DD). A former President of Campbell College, Jackson, Mississippi, Chancellor of Shorter College, Persiding Bishop of the AME Church, 12th Episcopal District. A delegate to the World Peace Conference in 1938, Oxford, England. Little Rock, Arkansas.
  4. Howard L. “Squat” Johnson – Pi Chapter, Morehouse College, Clark University (AB), Atlanta University (MA). All American Basketball Player. President of Old Dunbar Junior College, established Johnson Enterprise which consisted of The Charmaine Hotel, Restaurant and Business School. Football coach Philander Smith College, President of Arkansas Baptist College. Third Polemarch of the chapter. Established Beta Tau and Gamma Sigma Chapter, Fourth Provincial Polemarch, Delegate of the Grand Chapters of the fraternity. Little Rock, Arkansas.
  5. John D. “Brute” Russel – Delta Chapter, Wilberforce University (BS). Assistant Football Coach AM&N College (UAPB). Later he was hired as the Football Coach at Dunbar High School. During his tenure of four years he had three championship teams. Pine Bluff, Arkansas (deceased).
  6. Oba B. White – Mu Chapter, University of Kansas (AB), Meharry Medical College (MD). Staff Physician, McRae Memorial Sanitarium, Assistant Superintendent United Friends Hospital, one of the four that integrated with the White Medical Society, Pulaski County, State and AHA. First black elected to the Pulaski County Academy of Family Practice where he served as secretary for two years and president for two years. Staff physician at Baptist Medical System Hospital, St. Vincent Infirmary and the Missouri Pacific Hospital. Keeper of Records and Exchequer of the Little Rock Alumni Chapter for thirty years. Chaired the Old National Extension Committee of the Grand Chapter – Sixth Provincial Polemarch. Established the Pine Bluff Alumni Chapter while Provincial Polemarch. Elder W. Diggs Laureate. First Black Member of the Chamber of Commerce where he later served as Director for three years. 33rd Degree Mason. Practicing physician, Little Rock, Arkansas. He was National Chairman of the Life Membership Committee for ten years. He increased the membership from 1870 to 4612 members with 1200 subscribing.
  7. A. O. Wilson – Delta Chapter, Wilberforce University, Payne Seminary (DD) President Shorter College, Presiding Elder, Paster of Bethel AME Church, the largest church in the state. The First Polemarch of the Little Rock Alumni Chapter. Little Rock, Arkansas.

The three Province Polemarchs of this chapter started the vast expansion of this Province. In 1946, there were only sixteen chapters. In a span of ten years there was an increase of about twelve or more chapters.

Fraternity History

KappaHQThe fraternity was founded as Kappa Alpha Nu on the night of January 5, 1911 by ten African-American college students. The decision upon the name Kappa Alpha Nu may have been to honor the Alpha Kappa Nu club which began in 1903 on the Indiana University campus, but there were too few registrants to assure continuing organization.

During this time there were very few African-American students at the predominately white campus at Bloomington, Indiana and they were a small minority due to the era of Jim Crow laws. Many African-American students rarely saw each other on campus and were discouraged or prohibited from attending student functions and extracurricular activities by white college administrators and fellow students. African-American students were denied membership on athletic teams with the exception of track and field. The racial prejudice and discrimination encountered by the founders strengthened their bond of friendship and growing interest in starting a social group.

By 1912, the fraternity expanded with the second undergraduate chapter opened at the University of Illinois—Beta chapter; then the University of Iowa—Gamma chapter. After this, Kappa Alpha Psi chartered undergraduate chapters on Black college campuses at Wilberforce University—Delta Chapter, and Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)—Epsilon Chapter. In 1920, Xi Chapter was chartered at Howard University. In 1921, the fraternity installed the Omicron chapter at Columbia University, its first at an Ivy League university. The fraternity’s first chapter in the South was established in 1921 at Morehouse College— Pi Chapter. Kappa Alpha Psi expanded through the Midwest, South, and West at both white and black colleges.

Some believe the Greek letters Kappa Alpha Nu were chosen as a tribute to Alpha Kappa Nu, but the name became an ethnic slur among racist factions. Founder Elder Watson Diggs, while observing a young initiate compete in a track meet, overheard fans referring to the member as a “kappa alpha nig”, and a campaign to rename the fraternity ensued. The resolution to rename the group was adopted in December 1914, and the fraternity states, “the name acquired a distinctive Greek letter symbol and KAPPA ALPHA PSI thereby became a Greek letter Fraternity in every sense of the designation.” Kappa Alpha Psi has been the official name since April 15, 1915.

In 1947, at the Los Angeles Conclave, the National Silhouettes of Kappa Alpha Psi were established as an auxiliary group, which membership comprises wives or widows of fraternity members. In 1980, the Silhouettes were officially recognized and granted a seat on the Board of Directors of the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation. Silhouettes provide support and assistance for the activities of Kappa Alpha Psi at the Grand Chapter, Province and Local levels.

[Excerpt taken from Wikipedia.com]

Photos

2011 Little Rock Alumni Picnic

Officers 2013-2014

Polemarch – Randall Ward

Vice Polemarch – Deran Ford

Keeper of Records - Oscar Fuller

Asst. Keeper of Records - Dwayne Gentry

Keeper of Exchequer – Orville Abrams, Jr

Asst. Keeper of Exchequer - Ocie Hunter

Strategus - Kittrel Wynne

Lt. Strategus – Michael Douglas

Historian - James Watson

Reporter – Ken Wyatt

MOIP Coordinator – Jeffrey Browning

Director of Reclamation – Cory Littrell

Director of Guide Right – Deran Ford

Board of Directors
Adolph Washington
Dwayne Gentry
Rod Himon
Dr. Dexter Booth

Our Founders

diggs2w180h247Elder Watson Diggs (1890-1947), born in Christian County, Kentucky, was a graduate of Indiana State Normal (now Indiana State Teachers College) and Indiana University, the birthplace of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He served as Grand Polemarch for the first six consecutive years of the Fraternity’s existence. For this and other outstanding contributions to the Fraternity, he was awarded the Fraternity’s first Laurel Wreath in December, 1924.An educator by profession, he taught in the public schools of Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was elevated to a principalship. After his death on November 8, 1947, the name of the school where he taught was changed to the Elder Diggs School in his memory. Upon America’s entrance into World War I, Diggs resigned his principalship to enter the Nation’s first Officer’s Training Camp at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, and was commissioned a lieutenant. After European service with the 368th Infantry, he became a captain in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Diggs was instrumental in having the Indiana Constitution amended to permit Negro enlistment in the Indiana National Guard.
lee2w180h254John Milton Lee (1890-1958), born in Danville, Indiana, September 7, 1890, was graduated from the Danville High School in 1910 and entered the University of Indiana and there completed three years of pre-medical work. He later became a student at Temple University (1915) but was compelled to leave school because of a death in the family. He enlisted in the 349th Field Artillery in March of 1918 and served overseas as a First Class Sergeant and Gunner. His battery enjoys the unique distinction of having been the first battery of Negro Artillerymen ever to open fire upon an enemy. John Milton Lee fired the first shot. He helped organize, and for several years was president of, the Fairview Gold Club, the first Negro Golf Club in Pennsylvania. In 1931 he married Mary Walker Robinson. Vocationally, he was engaged in several enterprises. For eight years, he conducted a successful catering business in Philadelphia; he organized and served as Vice-president and Secretary of the Mutual Emergency Union, a mutual aid company in Philadelphia. He was also a member of the board of Managers of the Columbia Community Branch of the YMCA.
armstrong2w180h249Byron K. Armstrong (1890-1980), born in Westfield, Indiana, entered Indiana University where he studied philosophy, mathematics, and sociology. After finishing Indiana University, he earned his Master’s degree at Columbia University in 1913, and subsequently the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan. He held teaching positions in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma. During World War I, he served as an investigator for the Department of Labor. He was awarded the Laurel Wreath in 1935.

grant2w180h247Guy Levis Grant (1891-1973), born in New Albany, Indiana, attended public schools in that city, was graduated from Scribner High School in 1909, and later entered Indiana University. While there, he majored in chemistry, graduating with the A.B. degree in 1915. In 1920, he received the D.D.S. degree from Indiana Dental School, then a part of the University of Indiana; he practiced dentistry in Indianapolis. In 1929, he married Laura Hammons. He served as a member of the Grand Board of Directors and was the Fraternity’s Historian. In addition to his activities with Kappa Alpha Psi, Brother Grant held memberships in several civic, professional, and business organizations. He was a member of the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis.
alexander2w180h259Ezra Dee Alexander (1892-1971),was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1892, the site of Indiana University. He was graduated from Bloomington High School in 1910. He matriculated at Indiana University in the fall of 1910 and was graduated from Indiana University in 1917 with the A.B. degree. He received his M.D. degree from the Medical School of Indiana University in 1919. He practiced medicine in Indianapolis. In 1920, he married Mary Hunter, a teacher in the Indianapolis Public School system. Alexander served several terms as a member of the Grand Board of Directors.
asher2w180h258Henry T. Asher (1892-1963), born in Woodburn, Kentucky in 1892, was graduated from the Bloomington High School in 1910. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in 1914 and the next year was an instructor at Lincoln Institute at Jefferson City, Missouri. He was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in 1917. He received the degree of LL.B. at the Detroit College of Law in 1928.
blakemore2w180h2511Marcus Peter Blakemore (1889-1959), born in Franklin, Indiana in 1889, attended common and high schools in Anderson, Indiana. He was graduated from High School in 1909 and entered the University of Indiana the following year. After leaving the University, he organized the Electric Engineering Company, which he operated until he enlisted in World War I. He later entered the Dental School of the University of Pittsburgh, from which he was graduated in 1923.At the time of his death in October 1959, he was residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he maintained his practice of dentistry.
irvin2w180h247Edward Giles Irvin (1893-1983), born in Spencer, Indiana, on August 13, 1893, was graduated from Kokomo, Indiana High School in 1910 and entered the University of Indiana the same year. After leaving school, he pursued a Journalistic career in various cities throughout the country until World War I. Aside from his success as a Journalist, Brother Irvin was a pioneer in promoting basketball and track athletics in the small town schools of Indiana. He was an active member of the Methodist Church of Chicago and a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges. He organized and operated the Afro-American Manufacturing Company in Chicago, which produced novelties, candies, and specialties.
caine2w180h257Paul Waymond Caine (1891-1922), was born in Charleston, Indiana, in 1891 and attended grade school and high school in Greencastle, Indiana. He enrolled at Indiana University in 1909 and helped the other Founders in organizing Kappa Alpha Nu. Because of a disastrous fire in the Fraternity house in which he was employed, he never finished his sophomore year. Brother Caine went into the catering business in his hometown, later attended Columbia University, set up a catering business in Gary, Indiana, and published a book on catering, which was copyrighted in 1919 by the Hurst Publishing Company. Brother Caine was instrumental in setting up the Gamma, Delta, and Zeta chapters. He later went into business in Peoria, Illinois and was fatally burned during an explosion of gaseous materials in his business in 1922.
edmonds2w180h245George W. Edmonds (1890-1962), was born in Vandenburgh County, Knight Township, Indiana on August 13, 1890. He entered Carver Elementary School and Clark High School in Evansville, graduating in 1910. In the fall of 1910, George entered Indiana University at Bloomington. He joined nine other students in founding Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. After George returned home for the summer of 1911, his father became ill with pneumonia and died. His father had worked in the coal mines of Vandenburgh County for many years. George, being the eldest son, became head of the family, thus preventing his return to school. With the new responsibility of supporting the family, George took a job with the area coal mines and worked with the coal mines and the railroad until he died of pneumonia on June 13, 1962.George married the former Willa Mae Forte and settled in Stevenson, Indiana. They became the parents of one son, Noel.

Guide Right

Guide Right is a program for the educational and occupational guidance of youth, primarily inspirational and informational in character. Its reach extends to high schools and colleges alike. In the latter, giving due attention to the needs of undergraduate Brothers.

Conceived in 1922 by Leon Wop Stewart, and suggested at the twelfth Grand Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Guide Right became the Fraternity’s National Service Program. Jesse Jerome Peters, later to become the eighth Grand Polemarch, was chairman of the committee, during the administration of W. Ellis Stewart as Grand Polemarch.

kappaleagueGuide Right is administrated by a National Director and a Guide Right Commission. The Guide Right Commission consists of the Director and twelve Province Guide Right Coordinators, one from each Province, appointed by their respective Province Polemarchs. The Director is uniquely qualified to perform the duties of this office and is appointed by the Grand Polemarch. He prepares such directives as are necessary for the successful and efficient observance of this National movement. He also edits and prepares the Manual for the universal use of Undergraduate and Alumni.

The five national Guide Right initiatives are Kappa League, Jr. Kappa League, A-MAN Program, St. Jude Research Hospital, and the premier program, “Kappa Kamp,” which enables inner city boys to attend camp at the Piney Woods Country Life School in Piney Woods, Mississippi. In addition to the above-mentioned national initiatives, chapters within the Fraternity sponsor a wide variety of Guide Right programs in their communities that support their local youth.

[Excerpt taken from Wikipedia.com]

Kane History

The History of the Kane
The use of walking sticks and canes may very well date back to centuries B.C. to the times when shepherds would tend to their flocks. This ties into the early roots of Christianity and leads to the candy canes of today being striped the way they are (3 thin stripes and 1 solid stripe) to remind us of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and the blood of Christ. The shape was believed to be chosen because the cane, if pointed upward, resembles the letter “J” for Jesus. The history of the cane also ties in with the African Rights of Passage, and was a symbol of manhood that had to be carried by initiates wishing to become adult members of their respective tribe.

Dealing more directly with the evolution of the cane and how it relates to the Fraternity, canes started off as assistive devices, and later turned into social status symbols for society. In the 1700’s and 1800’s, canes were a fashion embellishment. One “wore” a cane. These old canes were decorative, objects to be admired and be proud of. They became collectors items and represented the true sign of a Gentleman.

cane_historyMembers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity have always worn or carried canes since the beginning of the Fraternity in 1911. Although unintentional in its inception, this occurrence soon became an unofficial tradition of Kappa men, as Kappa’s have always strived to be noble and productive members of the community. The cane, being the symbol of a Gentlemen who exhibits such characteristics, was then proudly adorned by members of the Fraternity.

This type of display became commonplace up until the 1950’s when Black Greek Letter Organizations, on an undergraduate level, began to practice what is known today as “Step Shows”. Undergraduate members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity took part in the trade and soon incorporated the use of their favorite item, the cane, into the routine. This was something that spread to many undergraduate chapters during the 50’s and 60’s. Stepping was catching on at an accelerated rate among the African American fraternities and sororities during this time period.

It was not until the mid to later 1960’s that the undergrads of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity began to decorate the step canes with the colors of the organization. The usual design was to pattern the cane with a crimson and a cream stripe from tip to tip which can be madtap_canese out below in the photo.

All throughout the 50’s and 60’s, canes used in the art of stepping were standard canes of approximately 36 inches in length, give or take half a foot. Eventually, as stated before, the canes would be adorned with the Fraternity colors of crimson and cream, but they were still standard length. Members of Kappa Alpha Psi would perform routines know as “Taps” where the canes would be beaten on the ground in time with the rhythmic beat of the step show.

The turn of the decade would reveal an evolution in cane stepping known today as “twirling”. Undergraduate members of Kappa Alpha Psi in the 70’s, not content with Taps alone, would then create a new form of cane mastery which involved much more skill and talent than merely banging the cane on the ground in a certain beat.

Now that “twirling” had become the new style of cane stepping among Kappa undergrads, members were constantly searching for better and faster styles. One problem that Kappa’s faced during this time is that they were still practicing the step show routines using the standard sized, 3 foot canes which can be seen above in both photographs. Kappa’s widely found that while standard length canes worked fine for tapping, they became a hindrance when it came time to twirl. Thus, cane stepping evolved once again with the birth of the short cane, which can be seen below.

This new evolution of the short cane during the later 1970’s has remained constant to this day, as can be seen in this recent photo of Kappa’s stepping.

Thus, the full length cane, as well as standing straight up in order to perform a “Tap”, has been sacrificed, making way for twirling ability and speed.

Backtracking for a moment, a very important part in cane stepping history was the acceptance of this trade by the Grand Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. All the aforementioned events have involved the undergraduate members of the Fraternity. However, cane stepping, even from its beginnings during the 1950’s, has not been considered an official part of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. until as of late. The National Organization was slow to accept this as an official part of the Fraternity, even though undergraduate members, across the entire United States, were widely participating in the art and tradition of cane stepping.

These excerpts from The Story of Kappa Alpha Psi tell the National Organization’s viewpoint concerning the whole cane stepping issue:

“Although cane stepping had become one of the most popular and well-attended activities on college campuses throughout the country, Kappa Alpha Psi was slow to accept this form of entertainment as a national activity. Earlier, Senior Grand Vice Polemarch Ullysses McBride had complained in the Journal about the vulgar language and obscene gestures sometimes engaged in by cane-stepping participants. Many complained of the profanity woven into the chants of the steppers and condemned what they considered ‘lewd and sexually suggestive gestures that accompany some routines.’ Critics further contended that the hours spent in step practices by chapters each week would be better devoted to academic or civic achievement. ‘I think it’s more important to honor scholastic achievement. I think the attention given to stepping should be placed into developing an honor roll or to recognize a group of Kappa scholars,’ was the opinion of Arthur Grist, a member of the East St. Louis Alumni Chapter and adviser to the Zeta Pi Chapter at Southern Illinois University.

The Journal reported: ‘What is undeniable, however, is the widespread popularity that stepping has attained. The avid attraction at college to stepping has caused shows to be propelled from mere performances in the school dance hall to such prominent forums as homecoming celebrations, civic auditoriums and fraternity province meetings. Step shows have become events that are frequently attended by parents and relatives of collegians.’

The Fraternity succumbed to the pressure and during the 66th Grand Chapter meeting in Washington D.C. (in 1986 – 75 years after the founding of the Fraternity), cane stepping was programmed as an official item on the Grand Chapter agenda.

Cane stepping became an official part of [Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. at the 66th Grand Chapter meeting in 1986] and a dazzling competition was held in front of hundreds of onlookers during a picnic in Washington’s Rock Creek Park to illustrate the skills of the trade. Several groups participated, performing frenzied and entertaining steps.”

cane_historyNow that cane stepping was openly embraced by the National Organization of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, publicity of the old tradition was gaining and many television shows, T.V. commercials, and music video artists sought out to display Kappa’s stepping in their respective forums. One of the first national airings came about on February 2nd, 1989 when NBC chose members of Kappa Alpha Psi to perform a step routine on the Black college sitcom “A Different World”. Later, members of Kappa Alpha Psi could be found stepping in Brother Montell Jordan’s remix of “This is How We Do It” in the summer of 1996. Also airing in the summer of 1996 was another display of Kappa’s stepping in an episode of FOX’s “New York Undercover”.

Kappa’s were again called upon to perform in songstress INOJ’s music video “Love You Down” which ran in the Spring of 1997. WB’s sitcom “Sister Sister” ran an episode that focused on college fraternities in the spring of 1999, and members of Kappa Alpha Psi were chosen to perform the stepping segment. Other music videos that feature members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity are “Woof!” by rapper Snoop Doggy Dog which ran in the spring of 1999, and “Imma Shine” by Mia X which ran in the summer of 1999.

Therefore, the tradition of the Kappa Cane has a longstanding history that reaches back as far the the history of the cane itself, and sweeps forward with the introduction of Black Greek Letter Organization step shows, cane stepping, cane tapping, cane twirling, and finally the acceptance of this tradition as an official and integrated part of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. which truly sets it apart from any other organization of its type.

Events

The Black and White Ball

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Ball will be held at 8:00pm at the Clear Channel Metroplex
10800 Colonel Glenn Rd, Interstate 430,
Little Rock, AR 72204

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