Sorority Sisters of Delta Sigma Theta March To Re-enact Women’s Suffrage Movement
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded in 1913 by twenty-two black female collegians on the campus of Howard University. These young women wanted to promote academic excellence, sisterhood and relief for persons in need. The first public act performed by the sorority founders involved the participation in the Women’s Suffrage March in Washington, D.C. that same year. On the day of the march, violence erupted after the parade began when the crowd broke through steel cables and spilled into the street. Many of the men in attendance acted crudely, spitting on marchers, grabbing their clothing and shouting epithets. At the end of the day, 100 marchers were taken to the local infirmary. Seven years later, the 19th Amendment was passed, guaranteeing women the right to vote.
Challenging the status quo was not easy for white women, and it was extraordinarily difficult for African American women given the racism of the era. Thousands of Delta Sigma Theta members commemorated the 100th anniversary of the march and the role that the organization’s founding members played in history. They honored those women before them by marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, taking a detour by diverting from the Mall to walk past the White House.
The March begin with a rally that recognized the founders, growth and development of the organization and its estimated 300, 000 members from all over the world. African American women have come a long way since those tumultuous days, and there is still more to be done in the name of freedom’s dreams.