Many of the contributions made by African Americans to society have gone unnoticed. The month of February is a time to celebrate the achievements of those individuals and their hard work. Stevenson University student Cindy Jean sees Black History Month as “a celebration of black culture and those who contributed to the success of black people in America.”
Ethel Hedgeman Lyle was the principal founder of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Howard University associates have described Lyle as “a lively, charming, bubbling woman, full of life and laughter.” Lyle joined with others to create the movement that led to the founding of the nation’s first black sorority.
The inspiration to organize a sorority came from Lyle’s desire to create an association of college women, whose talents and strengths could be used to benefit society. Today, the organization consists of women who excel in academics, leadership, and service. According to Style Magazine, AKA has more than 283,000 members.
Lyle was devoted to Alpha Kappa Alpha serving as national treasurer for 23 years. She was the only member to be named Honorary Supreme Basileus, also known as the group’s international president.
Lyle received many accolades in her life and career. She also married George Lyle, the founder of the nation’s first black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Lyle has influenced many young college women, and her legacy continues to thrive. The impact she made is admirable, and her dedication and contributions to the organization and society will always be remembered.
In honor of this visionary woman, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., has created an Ethel Hedgeman Lyle U.S. Postage Stamp Project. According to Style Magazine, “It is time to honor this civic visionary and have her join the ranks of other remarkable and historic figures of America and the world.”