DALLAS ALUMNI CHAPTER
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
–noun 1. something accomplished, esp. by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed: (Achievement connotes final accomplishment of something noteworthy, after much effort and often in spite of obstacles and discouragements)"
Achievement is the primary purpose of Kappa Alpha Psi. The fraternity implements this purpose by exerting wholesome influences upon the attitudes of members, assisting in the choice of careers and curricula, encouraging creditable scholarship, maintaining a socially approved environment and inculcating democratic principles of living.
Kappa Alpha Psi means brotherhood…a wholesome friendship with men of kindred values…relationships that provide added spiritual and intellectual sustenance.
Kappa Alpha Psi means a better way of life for its members and for those who come afterwards. It means the development of a sense of purpose, a sense of responsibility, a sense of judgment within the context of personal conscience. It means mentoring youth so that they will become productive citizens and contribute to social advancement.
Kappa Alpha Psi means fostering and supplementing the principles that determine meaningful family experiences; principles of morality; ethics; commitment to worthwhile community service; companionable living; and again, assuring to one's own self at very least; a measure of economic sufficiency and the respect of self and others.
Kappa Alpha Psi means first hand training for its undergraduate members in the art of leadership, distinguished by recognition of responsibility, a sense of purpose, intellectual competence, courage, character and moral rectitude. It means reflective and perceptive review of past achievements and programming to meet the demands of today and tomorrow.
Kappa Alpha Psi means integration with the objectives of college and university. It exists in part to serve the purpose of higher education. Undergraduate activities must emphasize the objectives of these institutions, primary among which is excellence in scholarship.
Kappa Alpha Psi means dissatisfaction with mediocrity and triviality, it means overt commitment to Fraternity ideals and programs of merit. Selfish interests yield to the policies, purposes and practices of the majority. There is a developed give and take relationship akin to what is demanded in our workaday world as part of the price for success.
Artificial differences of race, creed, color and economic status have no place in the thinking or planning of Kappa Alpha Psi. Attitudes of social distance are frowned upon, dedicated as we are to universal brotherhood and the cause of achievement.
Canes started off as a device used to assist people with walking difficulties, and later turned into social status symbols for society. In the 1700's and 1800's, canes were a fashion embellishment. One "wore" a cane. These old canes were decorative, objects to be admired and be proud of. They became collector's items and represented the true sign of a Gentleman. Members of Kappa Alpha Psi have always worn or carried canes since the beginning of the Fraternity in 1911. Although unintentional in its inception, this occurrence soon became an unofficial tradition of Kappa Men, as Kappas have always strived to be noble and productive members of the community. The cane, being the symbol of a Gentleman who exhibits such characteristics, was then proudly adorned by members of the Fraternity.
This type of display became commonplace up until the 1950's when Black Greek Letter Organizations, on an undergraduate level, began to practice what is known today as "step shows." Undergraduate members of Kappa Alpha Psi took part in the trade and soon incorporated the use of their favorite item, the cane, into their routines. This was something that spread to many undergraduate chapters during the 50's and 60's. Stepping was catching on at an accelerated rate among the African American fraternities and sororities during this time period. It was not until the mid to later 1960's that the undergrads of Kappa Alpha Psi began to decorate the step canes with the colors of the organization. The usual design was to pattern the cane with a crimson and a cream stripe from tip to tip. Members of Kappa Alpha Psi would perform routines know as "Taps" where the canes would be beaten on the ground in time with the rhythmic beat of the step show.
The turn of the decade would reveal an evolution in cane stepping known today as "twirling." Undergraduate members of Kappa Alpha Psi in the 70's, not content with Taps alone, would then create a new form of cane mastery which involved much more skill and talent than merely banging the cane on the ground in a certain beat.
One problem that Kappas faced during this time is that they were still practicing the step show routines using the standard sized, 3-foot canes which can be seen above in both photographs. Kappas widely found that while standard length canes worked fine for tapping, they became a hindrance when it came time to twirl. Thus, cane stepping evolved once again with the birth of the short cane, which is still used to this day.
"Although cane stepping had become one of the most popular and well-attended activities on college campuses throughout the country, Kappa Alpha Psi was slow to accept this form of entertainment as a national activity. Earlier, Senior Grand Vice Polemarch Ulysses McBride had complained in the Journal about the vulgar language and obscene gestures sometimes engaged in by cane-stepping participants. Many complained of the profanity woven into the chants of the steppers and condemned what they considered 'lewd and sexually suggestive gestures that accompany some routines.' Critics further contended that the hours spent in step practices by chapters each week would be better devoted to academic or civic achievement. During the 66th Grand Chapter meeting in Washington D.C. in 1986 (75 years after the founding of the Fraternity), cane stepping and twirling became an official part of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
“Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor.”
Kappa Alpha Psi depends, at least in part, for its effectiveness on the attainments and achievements of its members…consistent with the fundamental purpose of the organization. Membership is for life and the honor members bring to themselves flows to the brotherhood. While the saying in Kappa that "My diamond is no bigger than yours" is true, there are certain brothers who have gained a level of fame, popularity, respect and recognition as a result of their personal career achievements.
Kappa Alpha Psi is an organization that attracts and grooms leaders and it has been a training ground for several brothers who have gone on to make lasting impressions in various arenas. Their achievements as Kappa Men are all the more notable in light of the fact that Kappa Alpha Psi, to date, (unlike other fraternities) does not confer honorary membership to outsiders, no matter how significant their contributions to society.. All of the members listed here were initiated just as every other member was. Men of honor seek to be involved with organizations that will foster their development. The lives of these Kappa Men who have distinguished themselves in various walks of life inspire those who have come after them.
The Dallas [TX] Alumni Chapter
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
2515 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75215