All around the globe today, the illustrious women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. are celebrating their 109th Founders Day of the organization.

Founded on January 13, 1913, 22 women attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. organized a municipal sisterhood anchored in economic development, physical and mental health, educational development, political awareness and involvement, and international awareness and involvement. For their intelligence, to their sophisticated beauty and grace, to their documented commitment to fight social injustice, or just for being the hottest Hot Steppers ever, these ladies have earned every accolade and respect bestowed upon them.

Let’s take a look at 3 famous women you didn’t know were members of the Crimson and Cream Dream!

Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul, who was listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, will forever be stamped as musical royalty for chart topping hits such as Respect, Chain of Fools, I Knew You Were Waiting, and Until You Come Back to Me. Franklin was heavily immersed into activism during the Civil Rights Movement. This would make sense to be a member of a sorority which places substantial emphasis on social action activities. Franklin was inducted as an honorable member of the sorority in 1992.

(Photo Credit: Instagram @arethafranklin)

Lena Horne

The pioneer in Black Hollywood is not only remembered for her acting and singing talents, but was also known for standing up to directors attempting to typecast her as a white woman for roles. Her talent and stance eventually led to becoming the highest paid Black entertainer in Hollywood after signing a 7-year deal with MGM studio. Horne was inducted as an honorary member of the Sorority’s National Commission on Arts and Letters.

(Photo Credit: Instagram @mslenahorne)

Dr. Nikki Giovanni

As an American writer and activist, Giovanni achieved great heights of success and notoriety for her poetry and essays regarding social issues. Strongly influenced by the Black Power and Civil Rights Movements, her insightful take on society has earned her a Langston Hughes Medal and a NAACP Image Award. She was inducted as an honorary member of the sorority in 1974.

Photo courtesy of Pyar Seth

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