Marching for Equality

Delta Sigma Theta History

On January 13, 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded by twenty-two women at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Some of these women were already members of the Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority. The twenty-two Delta Sigma Theta (DST) founders were not pleased at the lack of progress of Alpha Kappa Alpha to move beyond organizing the affairs of campus society at Howard and wanted to reorganize the sorority to address topics like public service and women’s advancement.

Photo of original Delta Sigma Theta founders

Ethel Cuff Black

Ethel Cuff Black was born on October 17, 1890 in Wilmington, Delaware. Her father, Richard was a banker in an African American owned business and her maternal grandfather was a Civil War veteran. Ms. Cuff Black, one of the twenty-two Delta Sigma Theta Sorority founders, was educated in the public schools in Wilmington, and earned her college degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she majored in education.

Portrait painting of Ethel Cuff Black - DST Founder from Delaware

Suffrage March

March 3, 1913, is another significant date in the history of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. On that day, the newly-founded sorority performed their first public act of service as the founders marched in the Woman Suffrage Procession down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. However, this act of service did not happen without challenges and, due to the prevalence of segregation at the time, almost did not happen at all.

Photo of Delta Sigma Theta members marching in Washington, DC for the 100th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Parade of 1913

Delaware Chapters

There are currently six active Delta Sigma Theta Chapters in the three counties of Delaware. They consist of four alumnae chapters and two school chapters.

Illustration showing the nnumber of DST chapters in the state of Delaware