Happy Founders Day to the women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated! The sorority was founded on January 16, 1920, by 5 women at the Mecca Howard University in Washington, D.C. The sorority was created to raise the consciousness of people, encourage the high scholastic achievement, and foster a greater sense of unity among its members of the sorority. The sorority was the idea of Arizona Clever after talking to Charles Robert Samuel Taylor, a Phi Beta Sigma man, about forming a sister organization for the Sigmas. When the sorority was created, the five founders decided to name it “Zeta Phi Beta” with “Phi Beta” acting as a tribute to the Sigmas to “seal and signify the relationship between the two organizations”.
Here are 5 celebrities you might or might not know are women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated!
1) Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Award-Winning Actress, legendary Psychiatrist & Author of The Isis Papers, Chapter Affiliation Unknown
Another surprise! I absolutely didn’t know that the iconic Dr. Welsing is a Zeta! Looking at the history of the organization, Dr. Welsing Greek affiliation make a lot of sense! Although we don’t know what chapter that she pledged we know that she went to Anoich College for her bachelors and got her masters from Howard University. R.I.P to the Ancestor!
2) Zora Neal Hurston, Legendary Author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Alpha Chapter/Howard University
Another shocker! If you look at authors that defined an era of black literature, you can look no further than Zora Neal Hurston. She pledged the Alpha chapter of the sorority at Howard University!
3) Sheryl Underwood, Comedienne and Radio Host, Alpha Chapter/Howard University
Now, you night know that Sheryl Underwood was a Zeta. She reps Zeta and Benedict College all the time! However, did you know that she was the 23rd International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated? Go Sheryl!
4) Ester Rolle, Legendary Actress, Chapter Affiliation Unknown
Now, I knew this one! “Florida Evans” was a Zeta! I found this out a few years ago as I was watching Good Times with my parents and my mom mentioned that she was a Zeta. After research, we can’t find what chapter she pledged. However, we do see that the iconic actress attended Spelman College.
5) Vanessa A. Williams, Actress in Soul Food: The Series, Chapter Affiliation Unknown
Lord have mercy! The woman that I had a crush on my whole time I was watching Soul Food: The Series is a Zeta woman? Even the character of Maxine Chadway identifies with the Zeta principles, as she was socially conscious and politically aware. I’ll never forget when she ran for Chicago Alderman in the show!