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Sun, 05.15.1904

Kappa Boule’ Fraternity is Founded

*On this date, in 1904, Sigma Pi Phi Boule’s Fraternity was founded. Kappa Boule' is one of America's most impacting Black fraternal organizations.

Post Reconstruction twentieth-century African America found more Black men of distinction functioning in various leadership posts, especially in the churches and benevolent association movement.  But by and large, they lived lives separate from other Blacks and white professionals. In 1904 a small group in Philadelphia set out to create an organization that would provide a vehicle for men of standing and like tastes to come together to know the best of one another.

Henry M. Minton, a pharmacist and doctor, spent considerable time contemplating the isolation in which many accomplished Black men lived and worked. He began talking with other Black professionals about their shared conditions and his ideas for forming an organization that would bring them together in fellowship.  Minton thought that learned and professional Black men should have an organization that "should be a fraternity in the true sense of the word; one whose chief thought should not be to visit the sick and bury the dead but to bind men of like qualities, tastes and attainments into a close and sacred union that they might know the best of one another."

Members would not be "selected on the basis of brains alone but in addition to congeniality, culture and good fellowship; that they shall have behind them [at initiation] a record of accomplishment, not merely be men of promise and good education." His fraternity would contain the "best of Skull and Bones of Yale and of Phi Beta Kappa." After months of conversation with Edward C. Howard, M.D., and Richard J. Warrick, D.D.S., the four men met at Howard's home in the spring of 1904. The men agreed they would meet again in two weeks and recruited Julian Abele and Eugene T. Hinson to join their group. The fraternity grew quickly, and by 1908 Boulés were created in Chicago and Baltimore. Representatives of the three Boulés came together in Philadelphia on August 31, 1908, and established Sigma Pi Phi as a national fraternity.

The 21st century showed that the Boulé undertook two other initiatives to underpin the fraternity's successful move into its second century. During the terms of Grand Sire Archons Anthony Hall, Eddie Williams, and Thomas Shropshire, the Grand Boulé established a Public Policy Committee and initiated a study that resulted in a fraternity-wide strategic plan. At one hundred years of age, the Grand Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity is poised and well-prepared for another century of service.

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