Two years after the decision to publish a journal, The Sphinx appeared — edited by Vice President Raymond W. Cannon and published by The Printing Committee chaired by Brother J. C. McKelvie. Although the masthead declared that the journal would be published eight times per year ("monthly from October to May"), practical considerations had already forced a delay in the debut issue from February to March — and a quarterly plan was soon adopted as more feasible. It is obvious that, from the very start, plans for the expansion and improvement of The Sphinx were envisioned. In his first editorial, Brother Cannon states "Brothers, this but a modest little sheet, but remember it is but a beginning. Help us!" With that entreaty, the first fraternity journal was launched. On the following pages, we have displayed the first edition of The Sphinx in its entirety. Brother Cannon notes that, in the original, pages 3 and 4 were printed "loose" — sideby-side and folded into the magazine. With that exception, we here present an authentic replica of that first issue.
The Sphinx / Spring 1984
Vol. I THE
VENTION. The Convention convened at the seat of Beta Chapter, Howard University, Washington, D. C , December 29, 30, a n d 31, 1913. The following chapters answered to the roll call: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, E p silon, Zeta. Theta. Iota, K a p p a , MH, Nn. Xi. Omicron. Alpha Alumni of New York City, and Alpha Lambda G r a d u a t e C h a p t e r of Louisville. Besides, there were present several of the founders and men prominent in Alpha Phi Alpha. There arc now between four and five hundred members of the Fraternity. inch: ,ng our honorary members. many of whom are anion'.,' the most influential of the Race. .Men from all sections of this country gathered for a common purpose -the general uplifting and beiterintr of an organization which stands for the uplifting of a race. There were several very eloquent addresses delivered before the ('invention by members of the F r a t e r n i t y . An address of welcome on behalf of Howard University was delivered by Bro. Lewis B. .Moore. Dean of the Teachers Co'leijv Pie-;. James W, Barker welcomed the Ccnvcntion i n be-
half of Beta. The a n n u a l address was delivered by Bro. Dwight 0 . W . Holmes, honorary member of Beta. The annual alumni address was delivered by Bro. Roscoe C. Giles, ex-general president. They impressed the Convention t h a t it was necessary to work as a unit a n d Alpha P h i Alpha a n d its aims would spread. A t the banquet Bro. George William Cook, Secretary of Howard University, made an u r g e n t appeal for the members of the F r a ternity to assist the N. A. A. C. P . in its noble work of curbing prejudice against t h e race. The meetings of the Convention were held in the amphitheatre of the beautiful Science Hall. All business was transacted in a fraternal and business like way. The following officers were elected for 1914: H e n r y L. Dickason ( K a p p a ) P r e s i d e n t ; Raymond W. Cannon (Mul Vice P r e s i d e n t : Roscoe W. Ross ( A l p h a ) S e c r e t a r y : Howard II. Long: (Beta) Treasurer. The Convention was adjourned by the brothers joining hands and singing " B l e s t be the tie that b i n d s . " and " G o d be with you till we meet a g a i n . " The Convention adjourned to meet December 29. 30. and 31, 1914. at the seat of the Theta Chapter. Chicago. 111.
The Sphinx Volume I No. I March 1914 was reprinted in the Spring issue of 1984 Volume 70, Number 1 It is that reprint that is represented here.
"For a long time many Alpha Phi Alpha men have felt strongly the need of a means by which more of the Alpha Phi Alpha spirit — embodying all of its ardor, zeal, integrity, and loyalty — might be instilled into the minds of our somewhat passive members. "
Published Monthly from October to May by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity EDITORIAL STAFF : EDITOR IN C H I E F The Vice President Associate Editors in each Chapter BUSINESS
The Printing Committee 2347 Georgia Avenue, N. W. J. C. McKelvie, Chairman T. C. Brown H. O. Stratton Subscription SO cents per year This publication is intended for members of Alpha Phi Alpha Frateraity only Address all Communications to the Editor in Chief. DIRECTORY : GENERAL OFFICERS
H. L. Dickason, President i:M0 Summit St. Columbus, ')hio. R. W. Cannon, Vice President 34t>0 Oakland Ave.. Minneapolis, Miss. R. W. Ross, Secretary, H2H/4 Stewart Ave , Ihaca, N. Y. H. II. Long, Treasurer, 2347 Georgia Ave.. N. \V. Washington. I). ('. MARCH, lit 14. EDITORIALS. F o r a long time ninny Alpha Phi Alpha men have felt strongly tilt need of a means by which more of the A l p h a Phi Alpha spirit embodying all of its ardor, zeal, integrity, and loyalty might be instilled into the minds of some of our somewhat passive members. Necessity was clearly perceived t h a t all Alpha Phi Alpha men should be drawn closer together. and that each one should be made to feel himself an important factor of our great organization, and as such recognize his duties r n d responsibilities.
F o r some time also chapters have been exceedingly anxious to learn of their sister chapters, their progress, etc. This is n a t u r a l . B e i n g kept within the n a r r o w confines of t h e i r own spheres t h r o u g h o u t t h e year, excepting when delegates were sent to the conventions, and being almost wholly out of touch with each other unless indirectly through the General Organization the chapters a t times exhibited marked signs of curiosity toward each other. As the F r a t e r n i t y had reached such large proportions in the las! two or three years the future advancement and progress of Alpha Phi Alpha was given serious consideration in the last Convention Heretofore definite steps along the lines decided upon could not betaken because our finances were not sufficiently elastic; but, after ai! expenses for 1913 had been paid. there were sum' ient funds above those required to meet current expenses to warrant the publishing of a journal until the subscriptions were received. Consequently it was decided to issue monthly during the school year a F r a t e r n i t y .journal to be known as Tin: S P H I N X and which should be the official organ of the Alpha Phi Alpha F r a t e r n i t y . !t was further provided by the Conventirn t h r t in addition to the general fa- of #1.00 levied upon all but lienor:ry members that each member be fayed 50 cents p»r ye-ir as his s'.ibvriptien for Tl'E SlMTlNX, making the general t;:x $1.50 per vear for each member. Ilenoravv
The Sphinx / Spring 1984
"Brothers, the success or failure of The Sphinx in its purpose lies in the ands of each and every Alpha Phi Alpha man. Will you give it your support, contribute to its columns, manifest an intense interest in it, and foster it in its infancy, or will you merely stand by and see it succumb to the terrible stings of indifference. M
THE SPHINX members may receive T H E SPHINX for 50 cents per year. By means of T H E SPHINX we hope to stimulate and arouse the interest of all our Alumni brothers; we want to better acquaint chapter with chapter, individuals with individuals; we want to reach all who have become out of touch with the Fraternity, all who have never attended a Convention, and thus bring them back within the fold. T H E SPHINX will tell what is being done, the present scope of work of the Fraternity, the magnitude of the organization and its future plans, and will thus urge and inspire every delinquent brother to redeem his former good standing and assist a worthy movement. Brothers, the success or failure of T H E SPHINX in its purpose lies in the hands of each and every Alpha Phi Alpha man. Will you give it your support, contribute to its columns, manifest an intense interest in it. and foster it in its infancy, or \<ill you merely stand Iiy and see it succumb helplessly to the terrible stings of indifference! Remember that we aie setting an example before our younger members; they watch with keen interest everything we do; if we have much vim and energy they will he imbued with the same qualities. but if we are indifferent. alas! Think then of your progress rnd advancement. Think now of your tri'e Alph:i Phi Alpha spirit and cf your loyalty to old Alpha Phi Alpha; and you as Alunmi especially look back uprn the times when you literally
The Sphinx / Spring 1984
thrust your whole soul into the great and noble work. Are you doing, your duty nowt Does every Brother remember the night of that solemn occasion on which he took the oath of fidelity to support Alpha Phi Alpha in all of its undertakings f Brothers, shall we stand still or advance? Shall T H E SPHINX fail or prosper and fulfill its purpose? Let each Alpha Phi Alpha man decide for himself. Brothers, this is but a modest little sheet, but remember it is but a beginning. Help us! We shall take all criticisms fraternally. This is a new field for us and we need your help. We shall try and publish everything sent. Make your articles brief and pointed. What we can't publish in one issue we will in the next. THE SOCIAL SIDE OF THE CONVENTION. The Beta Chapter did everything within its power to insure the enjoyment of the visiting brothers. Every detail was planned with exactness. On the evening of December 20. a theatre party was given at the Howard Theatre, after which an informal "Smoker" was held at the beautiful Chapter Home. Here true fraternity spirit ran high. There were renewals of aequainti'liees. new acquaintances made " s t a g-dancing," heart-to-h e a r t talks pud general good fellowship. On the xe.-ond evening a iceep-
' ' The annual banquet was held on the last evening in the dining room of Miner Hall. The tables were arranged in the form of a large "A " and the walls were decorated with pennants of the many schools represented. This is the largest banquet ever held and the Fraternity and the Spirit were equally at large. "
THE SPHINX tion was given at the Odd Fellows Hall. Here the visiting brothers had an opportunity to meet the charming young ladies of Howard University and Washington. The annual banquet was held on the last evening in the dining room of Miner Hall. The tables were arranged in the form of a large " A " and the walls were beautifully decorated with pennants of the many schools represented. This is the largest banquet ever held by the Fraternity and the Spirit was equally as large. College songs and yells were rendered with great enthusiasm. The following toasts were responded to after a brief address of welcome by Pres. James W. Parker. of Beta: " T h e Old and New," J. R. Fugett (Alpha) ; "The Graduate Members," W. S. C. Payton (Alpha Lambda); "The Active Members." C. M. Cain ( N u ) , " O u r Problems," Nuna P. G. Adams; " T h e Honorary Mem hers," Geo. \V. Cook (Secretary Howard Univ.) ; " T h e Alumni Members." Geo. B. Kelley (Alpha; " T h e Officers," Raymond W. Cannon (Mil); "The Outlook," Harry L. Diekason (PresidentElect). General President Garvin was toastmaster. Besides the regular toasts all of the alumni and honorary members present were called upon for short addresses. The work of the N. A. A. C. P. was brought before the banquet by Bro. Cook and every member pledged support. As the bells tolled the old year out the men departed, carrying
with them a lasting and great impression of the magnitude of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. On New Year's Day, Beta Chapter was " a t home" in honor of thedelegates. The delegates were enabled to meet 300 or more of the representative Washington folk.
W H A T OF THE ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNTY? (By Henry L. Diekason, Pres.) I am sure that this question has been asked, by most of us, many a time and deep down in our souls. at that. We can best answer it by a little reflection and future consideration. Since Alpha Phi Alpha means a race of men united for a great purpose, no doubt we^ can narrow it by asking the question: What is man? The Holy Scripture asks the question more; fully when it asks: " W h a t is man that thou art mindful of h i m ? " By a little reflection I might say^ as we, from primeval savagery, discomfits and disadvantages, stride; up the ascending scale of humau civilization, we find a fraternal spirit existing between us which is indefinable. It has often been said and is very largely axiomatic that "blood runs thicker than water." The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity is a bond—very strong, >» union—very endurable, a harmony —very perfect and an id?alism— very ethical, is an organization based on fraternal ties of blood and race. It is not an organization existing somewhere in the land of might have been : but it is that or-
The Sphinx / Spring 1984
"The Sixth Annual Convention levied a general tax of one dollar ($1.00) upon every active alumnus and non-resident member. To this is added fifty cents (SO cents) for a school year's subscription for The Sphinx, the official organ of the Fraternity. " THE SPHINX ganization t r y i n g to answer t h e vital questions of the present day demands, working for future possibilities, and laboring for t h e greatest purpose t h a t can animate the conscience of m a n ; t h a t is, to t r y to lessen t h e painful achings of the souls of black folkâ€”discriminative prejudice. Again let me a s k : W h a t of t h e Alpha P h i A l p h a Fraternity? Honestly I feel free to s a y t h a t it is no superficial organization blowing the pipe of rumor a n d conject u r e ; hut it is t h a t organization founded, in 190G, at Cornell University by seven patriotic y o u n g men, in order to cultivate a love for the true, to further t h e science of the beautiful, to cherish a reverence fne the good, to lay a basis. for ethics and to promote m a t t e r s vital to h u m a n i t y , whose faith was fair and hope was sure a n d who had brains to conceive a n d energy to accomplish t h e great and imperative need of humanityâ€”enual justice.
send y o u r taxes a n d subscriptions in immediately. Do not wait until the last minute. The General Organization needs funds to c a r r y on its work. A t t h e present time we are working with a balance left over from t h e last administration. I t will take nearly all of this to issue T H E S P H I N X between now and
the first of April. See to your general t a x at. once. Active members a n d non-resident members pay their taxes to their respective chapt e r s ; alumni members pay their taxes to t h e alumni committeeman of their chapter. Chapters and alumni committeemen send all taxes a n d other funds to the office of the General Secretary. All remittances for T H E S P H I N X are sent. directly to t h e General Secretary. All subscribers will kindly semi names and addresses with all remittances.
W OR D
T IT K
P O l ' X U KKS.
OEXERAL TAX INCREASED.
One of the greatest problems today confronting the General OrThe Sixth Annual Convention levied a general tax of one dollar ganization a n d the respective chap($1.00) upon every active alumnus ters of the F r a t e r n i t y is the problem r n d nnn-resident menibsr. To this of reaching the Alumni members who in many cases are out of touch is added fifty cents (50 cents) for with their brothers. To my mind a school y e a r ' s subscription for T H E S P H I N X will fill a long felt TllK S P H I N X , the official organ of want in this direction. Tt is the. the F r a t e r n i t y . This makes a to 1 rifrfit thin : in t h e right place and tal of one dollar r n d a half ($1.50). is a step upward toward a greater Honorary members- may receive unificatiiu between Alumni and T H E S P H I N X for fifty cents (50 i rhe work of the F r a t e r n i t y as a cents) per year. The t<ix is due April 1. 1914. whole. T t r u s t each and every Alumni a n d u n d e r g r a d u a t e chapter The siib'.eiiption for T H E S P H I N X iVlll lend their hearty support to is also due at that time, l ' e r i n to
"Bro. James B. Clark, of Alpha Alumni, who in college won the gold medal of the Association of French Professors of America, started yesterday on his duties as teacher of Spanish and German in the Commercial High School of New York City. He is the first Negro to attain that honor."
T H E . SPHINX
the editors and subscribe to such a worthy cause. N. A. MURBAY.
MARRIAGES. Dr. D. L. Brown (Kappa), of Gratto, W. Va., 0 . S. A. '12, and Miss Blanch M. Harris were united! in wedlock in Columbus, Ohio, January 14. Bro. Percy Ward (Gamma), whose marriage to Miss Florence Taylor, of Richmond, has been recently announced, and Bro. R. P.* Watts (Epsilon), who recently married Miss Ada Celeste Albert, of Washington, D. C , have our best wishes for continued happiness. ABOUT OUR ALUMNI. Dr. Gordon Jackson, Theta, has offered spacious apartments to thf Theta Chapter, as a chapter house. with the first six month's rent tree WORK OF MR. VILLARD. On the 26th of January, 1914. letters were sent by the various chapters to Mr. Oswald G. Villanl thanking him for his efforts in behalf of the Colored People.
Bro. James B. Clark, ,of Alpha Alumni, who in college won the gold medal of the Association of French Professors of America, started yesterday on his duties as teacher of Spanish and German in the Commercial High School ot New York City. He is the first Negro to attain that honor. It shows what the character, intelligence, and persistence of members of the Fraternity will do. ROSCOE C. GILES,
BRO. J. L. BROWN PASSES FROM OUR MIDST. Bro. J. Brown, Cornell '11, and a member of Alpha Chapter, died of the white plague in Columbus. Ohio, Saturday, January 10. No communications f r o m relatives could he obtained. It was up to Kappa to show her makint • The funeral services were held on Tuesday evening, all the brothers of Kappa Chapter attending in a body. The services were carried on in a most sincere manner. President Dickason reid the obituary. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Smith, of St. Phillip's Episcopal Church. Bro. Brown was buried in the Union Cemetery.
With this first issue of Tnrc I wish to appeal- to our Alumni the <••.:.itry wide to rally ro the support of the General Organization. The attainment of the objects for which we exist and the preservation of our ideals rest ulOfficial Jeweler t o timately in the hands of the AluitA l p h a Phi A l p h a F r a t e r n i t y tIi whose influence is so far-rc:ieliing. It affords me threat pleisiue 180 Broadway, New York to announce to the Fraternity tint i Club and College Pins and Rings SPHINX
Stephen Lane Folger
The Sphinx / Spring 1984
THE SIXTH ANNUAL CON- VENTION. was reprinted in the Spring issue of 1984 Volume 70, Number 1 It is that reprint that is represented here.