AKA Impact on Campus & Beyond
The impact of the signature projects created and facilitated by the Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. reaches beyond the Forty Acres and into the lives of Austin mothers and their children. Working in East Austin, where, historically, the majority of African American Austinites have resided, since 1959 Delta Xi has held events to aid battered women, and to provide holiday parties, daycare, resources, encouragement, and toys for impoverished families.
The Delta Xi Chapter’s ambitions to improve marginalized communities don’t stop at event planning and service projects. Many members go on to create lasting impacts in their respective communities. Lareatha Clay, a prominent Delta Xi member mentioned in our previous blog post, is a former Texas Historical Commissioner and creator of the Shankleville Oral History Collection, an archive documenting the history of a freedom colony in East Texas. She has dedicated her life to bettering her community through leadership and scholarship. Clay is the founder of the Clay Preservation Scholars Program, a program intended to expose students to a multitude of career opportunities in the information, historic preservation, and legislative industries.
July’s Honorable Members, Mentions, and Findings
Cotton Bowl Queen
Barbara Dugas-Patterson was elected the first African American Cotton Bowl Queen and Sweetheart at the University of Texas at Austin during her sophomore and junior years. The Texas Longhorns, representing the Southwest Conference, competed against rival Alabama’s Crimson Tide of the Southeast Conference for the Cotton Bowl. In her interview with us, Dugas-Patterson recalls the astonishing support she received from her Delta Xi Sorors and the surprising support she received from others in her community. Dugas-Patterson’s interview will be available via Texas Libraries Digital Archive in the months to come.
Linda Todd is a pioneer Delta Xi member in her own right. Todd is the first in her family to be an AKA Delta Xi President and was one of the first African American officers and lieutenants on her high school drill team. She was also the first Black homecoming queen at Carter High School. Delta Xi Linda Todd and her husband, Dr. Frederick Todd II, are both committed to serving their communities, each participating in at least four non-profit organizations, among other accomplishments. Read more about the Todd family’s legacy here.
Janet Jacque is a highly skilled Delta Xi member whose passion for fashion has become an “A-list” brand-building service. You can read more on Jacque’s path to success here.
Curating an oral history of the Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. allows us to contextualize experiences and amplify the accomplishments of African American women in higher education. The importance of preserving the stories of Black women at the University of Texas is immense as we dive into a future that celebrates the changing diversity of our campus. Oral history allows us to identify Black experiences within a variety of spaces, including those that are predominantly white. The Delta Xi legacy and its outreach into the Austin community are worthy of mention and record.
Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll discuss stereotypes, historical discoveries, and influential figures surrounding the Delta Xi Chapter.