Legacy: Happy Founder’s Day

Vashti-Jasmine Murphy, Vashti Murphy, and Vashti-Gracia Murphy
I remember when I was a little girl, many days were spent at my Grandmother, Ida Ann Murphy Peters’ house where we had to sit down in front of the television and watch my Grandmother’s favorite “movie”, the videotape of the history of Delta Sigma Theta and the founding of the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter. We watched it so much, my sister and I, along with any little girlfriend that we brought over, knew every background song and word at the age of 7 and 4. 
Around Christmas time, we would spend our earlier Christmas’ with my grandmother at her sister Bettye’s house. It was a family tradition to sit around and share stories. Reason being, in our family as much as we are mostly all journalists, we do not have a written history of our family that is readily available. We would share stories so that we not only remember our family history, but so that we are able to learn from our elders and share those stories with our future generations. That being said, growing up and even now, I heard so many stories about my Great Grandmother and who she was, the life lessons she taught and what her temperament was like that I felt like I knew her, even though she passed away years before I was even thought of.  I feel like I know her so intimately that I could say that we have the same temperament : Iron Fist in a Satin Glove – just like my grandmother was as well. 
The stories that were shared around the dinner table were never of sorority secrets, but it was a lifestyle that was instilled in us, passed down from our Great Grandparents. We were raised by our mother and grandmother to be ladies of dignity and grace. We were raised where if we see an injustice, it was up to us to do all that we can to take a stand to make a change. If not us, then who? We were raised that if we see a void where we can help the community, that it was up to us to go out and develop a program and assist the community. These things became so ingrained in us that when it came time to make the decision to pledge, in spite of the fact that we had no real choice but to carry on the Legacy (after being threatened that if we chose another way that they would roll over in their grave) that there was no other choice that I would ever make. I wanted to be like the women in my family. I wanted to make them proud.  
Before I was even in the 1st grade, I walked around singing “Oh just to Be! To be a Delta Girl.. the finest in the World”.. not like I knew what I was singing but I knew that one day I really wanted to be like all the Delta Girls and the Delta Women that I knew. While my grandmother was living, it is true that we were not allowed to wear pink, especially in her presence – so much so that if we did we would have an impromptu shopping trip and be sent home to my mother in other colors. She trained us up at a young age and we never questioned her about it. If a Murphy Sister told us to do something, we did it – without question because we knew that there had to be a reason as to why and it was a reason that was not superficial.  Tradition was very important to my grandmother who named her only two children after her parents along with the passing down of the name Murphy as a middle name. 
It is unbelievable that 101 years ago, my Great Grandmother with her sorority sisters, having initially pledged another sorority at Howard University decided that their sorority should stand for more. That it should be something that would help assist a movement for the betterment of women. Delta Sigma Theta was founded in that sorority meeting on January 13, 1913. 
Now, 101 years later – My Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, Sister and myself have all crossed the burning sands into Delta Sigma Theta – the Legacy continued and prayerfully will continue through my daughter Vashti-Gracia. When she is old enough, I will begin to teach her the importance of Legacy and tell her the stories that have lasted now 101 years. 
Happy Founder’s Day to my Sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

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Delta Sigma Theta- 100 Years of Legacy

This weekend was my Sorority’s 100th Anniversary – Our Centennial Year! for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. A weekend of Founder’s Day events were planned in Washington, D.C. – the birth place of our sorority, which more specifically was on the campus of my alma mater, Howard University. Close to 13,000 women descended upon the Washington D.C. Convention Center area to celebrate.

For me, it wasn’t just excitement to be able to wear letters of our wonderful sorority and smile and meet sorors that I have never met before and do our “call” so loud that it won’t bother anyone because I would be around likeminded persons. But for me it was a full-circle moment because my Great-Grandmother, Vashti Turley Murphy was on of the 22 women who founded this great sorority.

All my life, I have heard stories about my Great-Grandmother while seated at the table with my grandmother and her sisters. I was taught certain “lady-like” ways because my Great-Grandmother was a stickler for always being a lady but had the reputation for having a stern lip with a soft hand. She’d say things like, “Don’t call me Vashti, don’t get familiar with me” and I recall always seeing her name actually in print as “Mrs. Carl” – My great grandmother was born in 1884 – it was a different time and life then. She was the only surviving member of her family by the time she was a senior in high school. She went to college when she was living in a boarding house with another family – at a time where the only people who went to college were considered to be a part of the “talented tenth”. I can not fathom the perseverance to continue her education when her entire family, mother, father and 4 siblings passed over an 8 year span before the age of 24. She was a Teacher in the District of Columbia before she had even graduated from Howard University. She was a student, teacher, political activist who changed the world and created a legacy for her future family.
And so, at Minors Teachers College associated with Howard University, my Great-Grandmother went to school. She pledged the only African American Sorority that was in existence at the time, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. And at the time, it was a Sorority that simply existed to be the sisterhood to the male counterpart Alpha Phi Alpha. On January 13, 1913, the members that were on Howard University’s campus decided that they should change their sorority into something more. Each part should have purpose, its name, its colors and its mission. Thus, the birthing of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. bearing the colors of Crimson and Cream.

This weekend, I was so honored, now being a member of the Sorority myself, having pledged in 2010 to be able to celebrate 100 years since that fateful day at Howard University. Its just so (I don’t know the right word) but, I can definitely imagine how that must’ve been- especially since I went to Howard University – and the very buildings where these organizations were founded in the early 1900’s still stand there to this day.

So 100 Years Later, this is how we celebrated :

It kicked off in the Burr Gynasium of Howard University, where our Sorors gathered to hear our “marching orders” for IMPACT day. 

We were invited to walk the path of the Founders and to see the plans for a stained glass window that would be installed at the historic Rankin Chapel on Howard University campus.

So we headed out to do just that – 

Later Friday night, we had a Reception to celebrate my Family Legacy in Delta Sigma Theta. We have the largest Legacy in Delta Sigma Theta from a Founder – 
4 Daughters, 6 Granddaughters and 7 Great-Granddaughters of Vashti Turley Murphy have pledged Delta Sigma Theta

We had AMAZING sponsors for our event – Special Thanks of course to Ciroc Premium Vodka, Nuvo and Clear Ultra Shea Beauty Therapy for sponsoring our event – along with About Face Makeup Inc., our family Newspaper The Afro-American Newspapers, Downy Infusions, The Lip Bar, Shea Radiance, Organic Root Stimulator, SmartWater, Sofn’free, Stacey Wines and Vita Coco.
2nd Generation – my grandmother and her sisters
3rd Generation in Delta – my mom and her cousins (minus one cousin who couldn’t make it)

4th Generation in Delta – me and my sister and my cousins and in-laws (minus two cousins)

Its a family affair! – The Murphy Legacy

Well, you know that if there is a mic in the room, more then likely I am giving remarks on it… I can’t help it. LOL. 
My husband definitely came to support me – c’mon he was not going to mind being in a room filled with lovely ladies.. he said if I didn’t claim him in the first few moments of him walking in he felt like he was going to get mauled! ha! Ok hubby, I’ll claim you!

For more pics from our event – click this Link to Event Pics
This Lip Bar color is awesome! No lie – We wore 100 Proof all night long. 
Want to get some? Click here
 
(honestly this mention isn’t posted, but I was sooo impressed with the product they sent to us)
So after the party, is the After Party – we had two places where we were invited to attend..
So we changed and headed out to have some fun in Washington, D.C.
We also went out to celebrate my sister’s friend because it was her birthday – 
These are her “it’s the thought that counts” cupcakes that we brought her after we were running late all night due to having our own event. 

This is what Kanye West meant when he said 
“My girl’s a Delta she BEEN throwing up the dynasty sign” 

We had a long first night – clearly.. as you see my sister is acting so silly photobombing my nice picture was trying to be funny – shoes off and yup I had to come down to my flats. 

I was so happy to get the chance to hang with my cousin Gigi.. She lives in the south so its so good to get the chance to hang out when she is in town!

My Cousin “Gigi” and I
Saturday – started with a Rededication Ceremony and then it was time for our Hats and Gloves luncheon. This I must say was a nice touch! I may have to wear hats and gloves more often. 
My family at the Luncheon
Me and Ashlee 

One of the most unique things that they did at the Luncheon was they did a living portrait of our Founders. It was absolutely AMAZING! I have never seen anything like it – I lie to you not, when they pushed the frame out on stage, I thought that the young ladies were wax figures of our Founders.

Later that night, it was time for the Centennial Honors – this time I got to sit with my dad.

We left the Centennial Honors, changed into the third outfit of the day and headed to Howard University’s campus so that we could be there when the clock strikes midnight into January 13, 2013 – the day of our founding. 
It was something that we heard Sorors were doing through word of mouth – well we showed up and apparently almost every Soror had heard the same. 
In the valley of Howard University, where the statue of Fortitude stands – a symbol of Delta Sigma Theta, thousands of Deltas were there. It looked like inauguration out there! 

No doubt, I was definitely tired at this point but I was so glad that I pushed myself and went. Because when that clock struck midnight – Every Soror did the call – OO-OOP! It definitely just felt SO GOOD! Some Sorors actually I think truly felt the emotion of the Founders at that moment. I saw some that were just crying uncontrollably because that moment right there meant so much to them. 
“Oh oh oh Oh oh Oh oh,  All I see is Signs, All I see is Delta Signs..”

We pushed through the crowd and made it to the statue – We made it 100 years  – The Murphy Legacy stood at the representation of our Sorority – a full circle moment.

Sunday Morning – Ecumenical Worship Service
My mother serves as the National Chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta 
I was honored to be invited to introduce my mother during the worship service.. 
We walked into the worship service and it literally was filled to capacity with over 12,000 persons – which also meant the longest long aisle I had ever had to walk down. 
This picture I took from the stage does not even do it justice, because you would think the back of the room is where that bright square is in the center but nope its further back then that. 
Having a sense of the footprint of the Convention Center, that aisle was equivalent to one to two city blocks. 
Church was amazing – and then it came time for me to introduce my mom and honestly I got a little nervous. But, I had no choice at this point – had to knock it out the park as if I were at my home church.
I can definitely look back at this moment for the rest of my life – to be on the National Stage of the Sorority. I had only had one previous opportunity at the Regional Convention and now I serve as the Regional Assistant Co-Chaplain for the Eastern Region. 

Me and Mommy after service
 Finally, Sunday Night  was the Founder’s Day Dinner, a black tie event.

We had a great night – and as a complete surprise were honored and recognized by our sorority on Founder’s Day for being a living legacy of a Founder.
We ended the night being serenaded by Eric Benet who was all too excited to be singing to such a large room filled with women. 🙂

As you can imagine today, the recovery is real. I am so exhausted after three days straight of event filled days. It took almost this whole day and night just to recap it all, but I wanted to do so – so that I don’t forget my experience at this Centennial. 
Hope you had a wonderful weekend – and if you made it through this entire post, bless you.

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