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On December 4, 1906, on Cornell University's campus, seven black men founded one of the greatest and most enduring organizations in American history. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. has brought together and shaped such esteemed men as Martin Luther King Jr., Cornel West, Thurgood Marshall, Wes Moore, W. E. B. DuBois, Roland Martin, and Paul Robeson. "Born in the shadow of slavery and on the lap of disenfranchisement," Alpha Phi Alpha — like other black Greek-letter organizations — was founded to instill a spirit of high academic achievement and intellectualism, foster meaningful and lifelong ties, and racially uplift those brothers who would be initiated into its ranks.

In Alpha Phi Alpha, Gregory S. Parks, Stefan M. Bradley, and other contributing authors analyze the fraternity and its members' fidelity to the founding precepts set forth in 1906. They discuss the identity established by the fraternity at its inception, the challenges of protecting the image and brand, and how the organization can identify and train future Alpha men to uphold the standards of an outstanding African American fraternity. Drawing on organizational identity theory and a diverse array of methodologies, the authors raise and answer questions that are relevant not only to Alpha Phi Alpha but to all black Greek-letter organizations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813169743
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 02/07/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 412
Sales rank: 901,234
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Gregory S. Parks, assistant professor of law at Wake Forest University School of Law, is coeditor of African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision and editor of Black Greek-Letter Organizations in the Twenty-First Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun.

Stefan M. Bradley, associate professor of history and African American studies at Saint Louis University, is the author of Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s.

Table of Contents

Editors' Note ix

Foreword Michael Alexander Blake xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Organizational Identity: Framework, Construction, and Projection

1 What We Mean by Organizational Identity Y. Sekou Bermiss 9

2 Defining the "Alpha" Identity Felix L. Armfield Stefan M. Bradley Kenneth I. Clarke Sr. Gregory S. Parks Jeremy M. Harp 23

3 The Complexities of Alpha Phi Alphas Contemporary Image Projection Gregory S. Parks Joanna S. Hunter 51

Part 2 Men Who Shaped the Identity

4 Progenitors of Progress: A Brief History of the Jewels of Alpha Phi Alpha Stefan M. Bradley 67

5 Those Who Carried the Torch: The General Presidents of Alpha Phi Alpha André McKenzie 93

Part 3 Internal Mechanisms that Define the Identity

6 The Quest for Excellence: Reviewing Alphas Legacy of Academic Achievement Ralph E. Johnson Crystal Chambers Mary Beth Walpole 189

7 "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" Authenticating the Racial, Religious, and Masculine Dimensions of Brotherhood within Alpha Phi Alpha Rashawn Ray Kevin Walter Spragling 207

Part 4 External Mechanisms that Define the Identity

8 Alpha Phi Alpha, the Fight for Civil Rights, and the Shaping of Public Policy Robert E. Weems Jr. 233

9 Setting an Example: The Philanthropic Contributions of Alpha Phi Alpha Michael J. Myers II Marybeth Gasman 263

Part 5 The Processes that Shape the Identity: Constraining and Enabling Factors

10 The Harms and Hazards of Hazing: Medical, Socio cultural, and Legal Perspectives Richard J. Reddick Kelso Anderson Terrence L. Frazier Derrick Jenkins 279

11 Hazing and Pledging in Alpha Phi Alpha: An Organizational Behavior Perspective Oscar Holmes IV 313

Conclusion 351

Acknowledgments 357

Appendix A Alpha Phi Alpha General Secretaries and Executive Directors 359

Appendix B Editors in Chief of The Sphinx 360

Appendix C Prominent Alpha Phi Alpha Members 361

List of Contributors 377

Index 385

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