President's Corner |  CONTACT US

Alpha Phi Alpha and Big Brothers Big Sisters

icopodcast   icorssfeed
[ News List ]
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.
Bloody Letters: A True
Representation of Alpha
Phi Alpha's Brand

What are the values of Alpha Phi Alpha? This question should be asked whenever the question is posed as to whether or not an image or ideal is appropriate to be used as a representation of our beloved fraternity, its regions, and our individual chapters. The concept of brand management is something that should always be considered whenever an image, slogan, or creative logo will be placed for public viewing. This is even more important to consider in the current age of social media where anything can be seen by anyone at any time. It is vital  that any image that your chapter may have designed or used, falls into line with the brand and vision of the fraternity.
To answer the original question, review any of the items/materials that you should have learned about during your journey to become an Alpha man, such as the mission statement, the aims, and even the fraternity’s national partnerships. The values of Alpha are very evident in each of these items.
 What you do locally as a brother and as a chapter affects the brand of the fraternity on an international level.
You may ask why not? Or what’s wrong with red letters? The short answer to your question would be another question.
1. What are the values of Alpha Phi Alpha? Red/bloody letters are in no way a representation of any of the values of this fraternity. 
2. What would the Jewels say about bloody chapters?
 “I think we often lose many good men who might be excellent members of the fraternity because of the cliques and some of the methods used in many of the chapters.” – Jewel George Biddle Kelley, January 6, 1933
Alpha does not have chapters to divide the brotherhood but rather to organize us to better serve the mission of our fraternity. There is only one Alpha Phi Alpha. No chapter is greater than the other. Therefore, our individual separation of chapters does not matter and should not be displayed in public forums.
3. Why encourage an image or slogan that carries a negative connotation? Bloody Beta Omicron, Death Eta Eta, Gangsta Gamma Rho, Sadistic Sigma Sigma, and the Pimpin Paddling Powerful Pi Sigma are all names that carry negative connotations with them. What do we expect outsiders or partners to think when they do a Google search on a chapter and that is what they find? What would your future employer think?
4. The most important reason for not using red or bloody letters is that Alpha Phi Alpha is a non-hazing organization (See official statement on hazing) Unless the bloody letters are somehow suggesting and reinforcing the image of Alpha men as distinguished gentlemen, men of distinction, and leaders in the community, they are not aligned with the mission of our fraternity and should not be promoted. By putting out the image of “bloody” chapters, you are only committing to the degradation of the image of positive intellectual Alpha men who greatly impact their communities, the way the Jewels intended Alpha to be viewed.
We should be constantly working to uphold the light of Alpha through our mission, developing leaders, promoting brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities. As Alpha men, we are in the business of making better men. Unless bloody letters are somehow helping that mission, they are unnecessary and should be stopped. Let us all continue to be a reflection of the best of Alpha as opposed to negativity. 
Just in case you may say to yourself, “No one is really paying attention to what I do,” remember that the moment you chose to become an Alpha man was the moment that you also chose to be a representation of the long legacy of Alpha men who came before you as well as those who will come after you. The image and legacy of Alpha are truly in the hands of you, the individual brother, and chapters around the world. Someone is always watching what you do, so remember that you are indeed a gentlemen and a scholar and ensure that is the image that you reflect. 


Here is an e-mail that a woman sent to the corporate office after seeing a brother driving in his car on the highway. She was so inspired by the way he carried himself that she decided to send e-mail. 

          |Subject: APA member

“Let me get this out of the way first - I'm a middle aged, slightly overweight white woman from a semi-rural area of NJ. While waiting at a traffic light in the center lane, I happened to notice a young man pull up next to me on my right, preparing to make a right turn.  I noticed him for a number of reasons - 1) he was wearing a headset while talking on the phone - something that is so rarely seen, though it is the law in most states, and something I am guilty of not doing myself; 2) the young man was extremely sharp looking - well dressed and professional looking (from what I could see), sat with incredible posture (I generally slouch so I notice folks with great posture and envy them) and seemed to be very attentive of traffic; and 3) that his black Prius was impeccably clean - here I must confess that looking at his vehicle made me very self-conscious of my filthy Explorer.  As he turned to make a right onto Route 202N (this occurred in Raritan Township/Flemington, NJ), I noticed his plates were from PA and his plate holder read "1906" and "Alpha Phi Alpha" and I thought - there was a member to be proud of.  I don't know who he was, where he had come from or where he was going and certainly he didn't notice me, but I decided that when I got home, I'd find out which fraternity was Alpha Phi Alpha and send them a note about this well representing member.  I suppose I notice a lot of drivers and their car magnets, decals, bumper stickers and license plate frames which are meant to reflect the driver's sentiments though often not in a good way.  It was such a breath of fresh air to see such a professional looking young man, in such a clean car proud enough of his fraternity to use license plate frames bearing its name. 
Nothing else to say here, just thought I'd drop a note about it to someone from the fraternity and I found your email address.  If this is the sort of man your fraternity produces, promotes and/or includes, kudos to you all.”
C. Allen
Flemington, NJ

Someone is always watching brothers, so we should in efforts to ensure that the image we reflect is appropriate, strive to live out in our daily lives the mission, aims, and vision of Alpha Phi Alpha and which is more, you will be an Alpha Man my son. -30-


The General Office • 2313 Saint Paul Street • Baltimore • Maryland • 21218
Copyright © 2012 Alpha Phi Alpha. All rights reserved.



© 2008 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., All Rights Reserved.