Spring is the season of warm weather following the winter season chill. Flowers begin to bloom and the insects come out. But that’s not the only thing that comes out. At many historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) probates come to life.

These probates are held for Greek fraternity and sorority members who are new to the organization. At HBCUs, the main fraternities and sororities are referred to as the ‘Divine Nine.’

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Zeta Phi Beta all make up the sorority portion of the Divine Nine. Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta make up the fraternity portion of the Divine Nine.

The Divine Nine came into place due to the trials and tribulations. Inlcuding African American students into universities showed to be difficult times for black students. Often times blacks were banned from joining organizations causing them to create their own. 

Most of these particular Greek organizations cross in the spring semester. They hold probates to reveal the new members to friends, family and peers. These probates consist of the members strolling, dancing, and singing.

“The feeling I felt when I was revealed was indescribable” said newly crossed member of Omega Psi Phi, Owen Obasuyi. Obasuyi is a student at Hampton University, which is the Gamma Epsilon chapter. He says that he joined the organization because he wishes to start a legacy within his family. Owens also says that he loves what the organizations does within the community, saying that they are extremely dedicated to community service.

A student of Hampton University, as well as, a friend of Owens, Shannon Lloyd, says that she had never expected as many people to attend the probate as they did. Lloyd said purple and gold filled the Hampton auditoriums as people anxiously awaited the crossing of new members.

Sophomore Brandon Harvey says that the previous year before also brought in a large audience. However, Harvey also mentions that a previous probate held for members of Delta Sigma Theta right before Omega Psi Phi’s probate caused an even larger audience this year. 

Considering new member of these fraternities and sororities take place relatively every spring, it is safe to say it is always a highly anticipated event, and one that is anticipated even as soon as the current probate is over.


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