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Mon, 12.29.1890

Minnie Smith, Teacher and Sorority Founder, born

Minnie Smith

*The birth of Minnie Smith is celebrated on this date in 1890. She was a Black teacher and administrator.

Minnie Beatrice Smith graduated from Howard University in 1912 when only 1/3 of 1% of African Americans and 5% of whites of eligible age attended college. She taught at the Mott School while attending college. When hearing plans of twenty-two members desiring to cede from Alpha Kappa Alpha to form a new sorority, Nellie Quander contacted graduate members, including Smith, to stop the proposals.

As a result, Smith, Quander, Norma Boyd, Julia Evangeline Brooks, Nellie Pratt Russell, and Ethel Jones Mowbray incorporated Alpha Kappa Alpha on January 29, 1913. The dissenters formed another sorority entitled Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Smith served as the secretary of the incorporating committee and Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha while Quander was studying mentally disabled children in Delaware.

In 1919, Smith was a victim of the flu pandemic. She contracted Spanish influenza and died shortly after contracting the disease.

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