Greek fraternities in America go all the way back to the 1700's at the same time as the founding of the country. Greek organizations were originally created for academic scholars and at the time this essentially meant white men since they were the only ones afforded higher education.
As time progressed, African Americans created their own college institutions due to racism and segregation which cam known as Historically Black Colleges or Universities simply abbreviated as HBCU's. Of course minorities at predominantly white institutions (PWI's) sought to have unity and support for their academic success which in time would become their own versions of greek organizations but being predominantly consisting of Blacks. Alpha Phi Alpha was the first of this kind established on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
Of course wearing the organization's greek letters and colors in the form of jackets, t-shirts, caps & jewelry is one way to distinguish yourself as a member. This apparel is known as greek gear and combined with various sorts of accessories is collectively known as greek paraphernalia. Greek members take a lot of pride in wearing this greek clothing with their trademarked organization's letters sometimes prominently displayed in bold fashion or sometimes more subtly worn so that perhaps only other fellow members may recognize it's significance.
These greek organizations that arose catering to African American members became known as the Divine Nine and consist of Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta. Most of these organizations require vendors to be approved and set quality standards for selling items that contain their trademarked letters, shields and insignia.
Below is a little history of the Divine Nine fraternities & sororities:
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Founded 1906, Cornell University
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Founded 1908, Howard University
- Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Founded 1911, Indiana University
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Founded 1911, Howard University
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Founded 1913, Howard University
- Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Founded 1914, Howard University
- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Founded 1920, Howard University
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Founded 1922, Butler University
- Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Founded 1963, Morgan State University
Here are our list of top greek paraphernalia providers:
1. Greek Gear - We are experts in the fraternity/sorority market. Does that sound like a bold statement? Absolutely, but we've been pumping out quality Greek merchandise since 1999 so we have a bit of experience to back that up. We talk to students everyday online, checking in with what's hot/what's not and keeping our finger on the pulse of the Greek market.
2. M3Greek - We are honored to be the top vendor serving The National Pan Hellenic Council to create top Black Greek Gear as well as providing our corporate clients with one of a kind garments created using embroidery, heat transfer, digitization and printing methods.
3. Perfect Apparel - Perfect Apparel is a private family-owned business that was founded in 2011 to service the greater Indianapolis area with Divine Nine Greek paraphernalia. They have since expanded into different markets and to be able to provide apparel decorating services to any business and organization.
4. Campus Connection - In addition to all the great products we sell, Campus Connection prides itself on the quality apparel we’ve been creating for thirty years. Whatever you need to outfit your office, team, club or organization, Campus Connection has got what it takes to help you stand out.
5. Campus Greek Shop - Campus Greek & Embroidery Shop is a locally owned college retailer specializing in Licensed Sorority & Fraternity Apparel & Gifts, Game Day Apparel and more! We are officially licensed for over 25 organizations through Affinity Greek and CLC Greek Licensing. We offer embroidery, screen printing, promotional products and more! Florida State University Alumni owned and operated!
6. Stuff 4 Greeks - We are a team of artists and designers based in Atlanta, GA. Most of us are members of a fraternity or sorority, so we understand your story and know exactly what you need for your Greek paraphernalia to be top-notch. Those of us who aren't members of Greek-letter organizations have strong ties to Greek life through family and friends. We pride ourselves in offering a superior product and a remarkable experience. We've been making Greek apparel for over a decade, and our experience shines through every stitch.
7. Brothers & Sister Greek Store - Brothers and Sisters’ Greek Store is the premiere fraternity and sorority mega store in Jacksonville, Florida. We specialize in Greek apparel and paraphernalia for NPHC, IFC, Panhellenic, and Multi-Cultural fraternities and sororities. We also have a wide selection of Mason/Masonic and Order of the Eastern Star/OES merchandise.
8. King McNeal Collection - King McNeal Collection is owned and operated by brothers Brandon and Ryan McNeal. As a fully custom apparel company, we design and manufacture 95% of our products from scratch. This also allows us the ability to produce custom bulk orders of 15 pieces or more. The majority of our products are our exclusive designs and can only be found here at kingmcneal.com
9. Savage Promotions - Savage Promotions, Inc. has been a leading wholesale supplier of African-American fraternity and sorority merchandise including Masonic and Eastern Star since 1985. We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service, quality products, and same day shipping. Specializing in African-American Greek & Masonic Merchandise. Savage Promotions, Inc. is a licensed vendor.
10. Onassis Krown - We are the premier, inspirational lifestyle brand specializing in custom apparel, greek gear & jewelry designed to help build Kings & Queens from those who had to overcome adversity. Onassis Krown LLC is Black owned by a Divine Nine member, veteran and HBCU graduate!
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