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
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:
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.
The 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]
2011 Little Rock Alumni Picnic
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
Dr. Dexter Booth
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.
Guide 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]
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.
Members 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 made 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.”
Now 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.
The Ball will be held at 8:00pm at the Clear Channel Metroplex
10800 Colonel Glenn Rd, Interstate 430,
Little Rock, AR 72204