102 Years Of Sisterhood: Zeta Phi Beta's Noteworthy History And Iconic Members
The sorority was founded by 5 trailblazing Howard University students.
January 14, 2022 at 4:57 pm
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded on Jan. 16, 1920, by five Howard University students: Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Pearl Anna Neal, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings, and Fannie Pettie Watts—aka the Five Pearls.
"From the Sorority's inception, the members of Zeta Phi Beta and Phi Beta Sigma have successfully collaborated on a variety of community service projects, shared national, regional, state and local activities and developed and enjoyed the bonds afforded a sisterhood and brotherhood with a shared purpose," reads the sorority's website.
"No other two organizations can boast of such a rich, mutually beneficial relationship that has resulted in a complete and comprehensive record of service to the men, women and children within our communities," the acknowledgment continues.
With over 125,000 members and 800 chapters throughout North America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean, several Zetas are in all professional areas. In honor of this sorority's Founders' Day, we've compiled a list of 7 Zetas who are in the public eye.
Happy Founders’ Day to our Finer Women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated! Today we celebrate 102 years of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood!
We are Finer!
— Zeta Phi Beta (@ZPHIBHQ) January 16, 2022
Vivica A. Fox
Sheryl Underwood—one of the co-hosts of The Talk—pledged Zeta back in 1990, and she was even elected as the sorority's 23rd International President back in 2008. In addition to her current talk show gig, Underwood is also a renowned comedienne and actress.
Soror Sheryl Underwood and Phi Nu Zeta Chapter at 2017 Midwestern Regional Conference. pic.twitter.com/acPYrIQ9Lc
— PHInatic Phi Nu Zeta (@zphib_phinuzeta) April 8, 2017
Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston was a significant figure of the Harlem Renaissance. She is most known as the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God—a staple of 20th century American literature. Hurston attended Howard University, and she was an early initiate into the Zeta sorority.
On this day in 1891, Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga, Alabama. Not only was she a well renowned author, playwright, and anthropologist, she was a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated! ???????? pic.twitter.com/j77I7iDK7x
— AL STATE NAACP (@alstatenaacp) January 7, 2022
— Zeta Phi Beta (@ZPHIBHQ) January 7, 2014
Iconic recording artist Dionne Warwick is another member of Zeta Phi Beta. Warwick, who is notably Whitney Houston's cousin, has a career that spans multiple decades, and she is a powerful force in the music industry. It's also worth pointing out that she was celebrated by her sorority sisters at the Indiana Black Expo back in 2016.
Anita Hill came to prominence in 1991 for bravely accusing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, her supervisor at the time, of sexual harassment shortly before his appointment. Hill was named an honorary Zeta back in 2017, and she currently teaches at Brandeis University.
Sorors attend the Kennedy Lecture series at Ohio University to hear Soror Dr. Anita Hill. Ohio State Secretary Kateri Hargrove and Soror Lillian Williams of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Mu Rho Zeta chapter extended greetings. #ZetasGetEngaged
— Zeta Phi Beta (@ZPHIBHQ) April 3, 2019
Towanda Braxton is one of the stars of Braxton Family Values, and she is the third of the five Braxton sisters. While she isn't as well-known as Toni or Tamar, Towanda has the honor of being a proud Zeta.
Forty-Four year old Towanda Braxton, Zeta Phi Beta member & sister of Toni Braxton, Bowie State University Alum. pic.twitter.com/SOiCsV2fEj
— Dr. L. Edwards (@Harvarddoc32) June 14, 2018
Soror Towanda Braxton became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority while at Bowie State University, & today stars in some reality TV shows.
— Sigmas of UNA ΦΒΣ (@Sigmas_of_UNA) September 19, 2014
R&B singer Syleena Johnson is a proud member of the Lambda Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Johnson enrolled at Duke University back in 1994, joined Zeta Phi Beta in 1996. She is widely known for being featured on "All Falls Down" by Kanye West. The Grammy-nominated artist is also the daughter of Syl Johnson, an African American blues and soul singer.
— SADY S*E*N (@DingyDiamond) January 16, 2019
Happy Founders' to all the outstanding Zetas!