A House for Alpha Phi Alpha

Brigadier General Jennings recalls the challenges faced by African American fraternities before they had houses at NC State, and he remembers the pride that the Alpha Phi Alphas felt once they had a one.

Interview on 2015-03-27

Transcript

00:00:00.000 But that was a big thing for our psyche as an organization, and I think it also was a big thing, although a lot of people probably won't admit it,
00:00:14.070 but it was a good thing for the blacks, African Americans, at North Carolina State University because it showed that we could now do something that-.
00:00:25.517 We all, although most people probably wouldn't admit it freely, but you kind of looked up to a lot of the white fraternities because they were able to all be together, they had-.
00:00:37.312 The one thing about, I mentioned earlier, when you would go to the white fraternities when I came here the first time, part of the reason you did that was to go get a free meal.
00:00:47.088 They didn't have a meal plan at NC State when I was here in 1973, so everybody cooked in their room or went to the student center, that type thing, so you were pretty much on your own.
00:00:58.001 So if the fraternity offered you over and dinner was part of the bargain it's like, okay; I have no real intentions of joining these guys but I'm hungry.
00:01:09.796 I will say everybody that year that was an Alpha was so proud. You could stick your chest out because of that, that we have our own fraternity house.
00:01:19.455 In other words, one of the things that came with it is that, okay, being a fraternity - unlike the white fraternities. If the members of Delta Sigma Phi wanted to get together they met at their house.
00:01:35.894 If they wanted to do something they met at their house. If they wanted to have a cookout, if they wanted to have a meeting or something, all of that was available.
00:01:47.271 We always had to plan somewhere to meet and do those type things, so this gave us a place that we could be proud of
00:01:58.161 and we could also meet and do those type things that we would always be a different place hopping around doing before. So it was a sense of pride but it had a practical application also.