History of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (ΚΑΨ) is a collegiate Greek-letter fraternity, founded on January 5, 1911 at Indiana University Bloomington. The fraternity has over 150,000 members with 700 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state of the United States, and international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, Japan, the Caribbean, Saint Thomas, Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Nigeria, Bermuda, Canada, Dubai, Dominican Republic and South Africa.
Kappa Alpha Psi®, was born in an environment saturated in racism. The state of Indiana became the 19th state of the Union in 1816 and it founded Indiana University. This city was largely populated by settlers from below the Mason-Dixon line and therefore found many sympathizers of the Southern cause. Consequently, the few Blacks who took up residence in Bloomington in those early years were socially ostracized and encountered extreme acts of prejudice and discrimination.
The state of Indiana became a stronghold for the Ku Klux Klan. Their intolerance toward Blacks fueled the negative mindset of other Whites residing there. Vigilante lynchings of Blacks were commonplace. This environment made day-to-day life for Blacks an arduous task and attempts to successfully achieve in school, nearly impossible. Despite the growing hostility of Whites toward Blacks in Indiana, some Black students sought a college education at Indiana University, as it was a tuition-free university of the highest quality.
On January 5, 1911, the Fraternity then became known as Kappa Alpha Nu, possibly as a tribute to the Black students of 1903 (the Alpha Kappa Nu Greek Society) who preceded them at Indiana University. These men of vision decided Kappa Alpha Nu would be more than another social organization. It would be the only Greek-letter organization founded with the concept of achievement. Kappa Alpha Nu began uniting college men of culture, patriotism and honor in a Bond of fraternity. Primarily, under the efforts and leadership of the calm, methodical, and philosophical Elder W. Diggs and the critical, and scholarly Byron K. Armstrong, the Kappa Alpha Nu Fraternity was founded.