Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate
Greek-letter fraternity established for Black college students, was organized at
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1906. The prejudices of the time, even
at a relatively liberal institution such as Cornell, placed an extra burden on
minority students. The first unit of this national fraternity, organized by
college men of African descent, was called "Alpha Chapter."
The seven visionary founders at Cornell, Henry Arthur
Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley,
Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle and Vertner Woodson Tandy, labored
in years of severe economic struggle and racial conflict in the United States.
Despite their difficulties of organization in this untried field of student
life, the early fraternity pioneers succeeded in laying a firm foundation and
remained steadfast in their goals.
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