Washington, D.C. N.P., 1959. 10¾” x 8 3/8”. Thin card stapled wrappers. Pp. ii, 67. Very good: wrappers lightly toned with a few small stains.
This is a history of Iota Phi Lambda (IPL), the first African American business sorority. Replete with photographic images, the book is a thorough source of reference data and information about the group and some of its most important women leaders.
IPL was founded by Lola Mercedes Parker in Chicago in 1929 “to seek greater opportunities for the Ne*ro business woman.” According to the book, “the Greek letters, IOTA PHI LAMBDA, were chosen because of their meaning – Ideals of Friendship and Love.” There are now more than 100 chapters of IPL in 85 cities and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The sorority's website lists their goals, including to:
“Unite in sisterhood qualified business and professional women in order to enhance and improve the status of women in our highly complex, competitive business and professional world; Promote increased interest in the broad field of business education among high school and college young women through planned programs and scholarships; Encourage the development of personal goals and leadership potential; and Establish and promote civic and social service activities for youth and adults.”
This book is divided into two sections, and contains a table of contents for each. The first section concerns the founding of IPL, its operating structure, initiatives and accomplishments. It provides biographies of Parker, “this woman with such lofty ideals and love for her fellowman,” as well as charter members and national presidents. There is information about various IPL programs such as American Education Week, Ne*ro History Week and Founder's Day. Eleven pages are dedicated to a history of the sorority's national conventions. The book covers the IPL publications as well as content on IPL's affiliations with important organizations such as the National Council of Ne*ro Women. The book's second section provides founding dates and locations for IPL chapters as well as lists of honorary members and long rosters of past national officers.
There are 55 photographic images in the book, many of which take up half a page or more. Some notable shots depict founder Lola Parker, other pioneers of IPL and the current executive board. Other great images depict the “Future Iota Girls Club” of Booker T. Washington high school in New Orleans, and a group of women viewing the IPL exhibit at the American Ne*ro Exhibition in 1940. We see sorors receiving awards, members at conferences, and women working on a legislative strategy panel. There are also portraits of “a few of the outstanding sorors” selected from among IPL's “galaxy of trained women.”
A well written and highly detailed history of this important African American women's organization. OCLC shows 6 holdings over two entries. Very good. Item #7782