December 4, 2016
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First Black Intercollegiate Fraternity Deposits Historic Interview Tapes At Cornell Library

ITHACA, N.Y. th Herman "Skip" Mason, the 33rd general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Elaine Engst, Cornell archivist, signs a Memorandum of Agreement to deposit historic interview tapes collected for the centennial documentary about Alpha Phi Alpha th at the Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collections (RMC).

 (Media-Newswire.com) - ITHACA, N.Y. – Herman "Skip" Mason, the 33rd general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Elaine Engst, Cornell archivist, will sign a Memorandum of Agreement to deposit historic interview tapes – collected for the centennial documentary about Alpha Phi Alpha – at the Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collections ( RMC ).


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans, was founded exactly 103 years ago at Cornell on Dec. 4, 1906.  The documentary “A Century of Leadership and Service” was aired on PBS stations nationwide in 2006. The tapes include interviews with Edward W. Brooke, first African American elected to the U.S. Senate in the 20th Century; the late John Hope Franklin, distinguished historian; Andrew Young, former mayor and ambassador; Marc Morial, current National Urban League president; Hugh Price, past National Urban League president; entertainer Lionel Richie; Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia; and other distinguished members of the fraternity.

The interviews not only capture the fraternity’s history, but the history of the United States and the struggle for racial equality as well.  Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr. – who all played prominent roles in the civil rights movement – were Alpha Phi Alpha members.  

Contact:    Blaine Friedlander
Phone:      ( 607 ) 254-8093
Cell:        ( 607 ) 351-2610
E-Mail:    bpf2@cornell.edu

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