Was dean of women there to those of us who were

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was dean of women there. “To those of us who were present…this news[of her appearance at the convention] is disheartening and to those ofus who braved the storm and became Deltas in spite of her prejudicedattitude it is heartbreaking,” Yancey wrote. “I have lost sleep over it…Ihad many contacts with Dean Mueller…I was a member of the YWCACouncil and an AWS counselor. Upon being urged by the president ofAWS to ask some Negroes to attend our opening dance, which we didand were received, Dean Mueller sent for me a few days thereafter andthreatened my expulsion if it happened again…and if her attitude to-ward Negroes has changed it has taken all of seventeen years!…“I don’t want to upset the program,” continued Yancey,11but…[Governor of Arkansas] Faubus may have been a better speakerfor our convention….”12Another indication of changing attitudes was the words of E. FranklinFrazier, the sociologist who had recently published the landmarkBlackBourgeoisieand who spoke at the August 22 luncheon. Frazier emphas-ized that the role of the educated, intellectual class of Blacks should notso much be integrating into society and its institutions as they nowstood, but changing the status quo. In the “present world crisis whenthere is so much talk about preserving a world that is falling apart,”the sociologist said, “the Negro intellectual should see that he has nostake in a world that rested upon colonialism and exploitation andprejudice. He should use his intellectual energies in formulating ideasabout a new world which is coming into existence rather than repeatingmeaningless platitudes,” he concluded.13That platitudes were a luxury Black organizations could ill affordwas reflected in the resolutions passed at the convention. In the past,many of those resolutions did not go very far beyond commendationsand words of support for the activities of organizations such as theNAACP, the National Urban League, the Association for the Study ofNegro Life and History, and others. In 1958, however, they resonatedwith the urgency of the times—so much so that legal adviser Sadie T.M. Alexander cautioned that some of the more controversial subjectsmight be toned down in view of the organization’s tax-exempt status.The Resolutions Committee Report included, for example, a recommend-ation that a telegram be sent to President Eisenhower urging that “hebe more forceful concerning the attempts of circumvention of the lawspertaining to civil rights.” Also, they would ask the President to “urgethe Supreme Court to meet in immediate session to overrule the appealscourt stay [that imme-246 / In Search of Sisterhood
diately affected Little Rock and schools in Arlington and Norfolk, Vir-ginia] and make integration the law of the land.”14Such strong senti-ments would push Delta also to confront Frazier’s more substantitivemandates concerning the role of educated Blacks. With her youth andiconoclastic tendencies, Jeanne Noble was suited to lead the sorority innew directions.

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Term
Spring
Professor
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Tags
Fraternities and sororities, National Pan Hellenic Council, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

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