Saturday, November 10th, 2012 marked the climactic celebration of the Miami Alphas 75th Diamond Anniversary with a gala like no other in the Greater Miami community. The Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. hosted a weeklong 75th Anniversary Celebration from November 5th through November 11th, which began with getting out the vote for the re-election of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. The premier event was the 75th Diamond Anniversary Gala hosted at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa. The Master of Ceremonies was Brother Milton C. Davis, Esq. – the 29th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The sold out crowd was entertained by 2-time Grammy Award Nominated R&B Artist, Eric Roberson, and the guests danced to the sounds of the band Suga. This gala culminated Beta Beta Lambda’s yearlong crusade to celebrate their 75th Diamond Anniversary displaying the past works, history and contribution of the membership from one of Miami’s greatest fraternal organizations.
On November 19, 1937, eight visionary men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. founded the Beta Beta Lambda [(BBL] chapter in Miami. On that Friday evening, Brothers Dr. Felix Butler, MD, Dr. Nathaniel Colston, MD, Dr. Ira P. Davis, DDS, Dr. Aaron Goodman, MD, Dr. Samuel H. Johnson, MD, Frederick Johnson and Leo A. Lucas met at the home of Bro. Dr. William H. Murrell, DDS for what was described as “quite a grand and glorious occasion for all of the brothers present.” The then Southern Regional Vice-President, Bro. Charles W. Greene, conducted the ceremony, giving birth to Florida’s second graduate chapter and cultivating what has become 75 years of leadership, activism, brotherhood and community service to the Greater Miami area. Until 1937, Upsilon Lambda in Jacksonville was the only graduate chapter in Florida, mostly attracting brothers who had graduated from Florida Normal and Industrial Institute (now Florida Memorial University) in nearby St. Augustine. For South Florida brothers, the thought of commuting to meetings across the state was impractical. They wanted their own chapter in Miami that would not only serve Dade County, but also serve the surrounding counties. The eight founders also felt that a local chapter would strengthen ties with the national organization, encourage undergraduate brothers to continue their fraternal affiliation, and inspire other fraternities and sororities to establish local chapters. The brothers of BBL wasted little time celebrating Alpha’s newest graduate chapter. On Saturday, November 20, 1937, the founders held South Florida’s first dance party hosted by a Greek letter organization. The affair took place at the Liberty Square Auditorium in Liberty City. Bro. Dr. Felix Butler was the first chapter president. The first chapter secretary, Bro. Frederick L. Johnson, summarized the evening in a letter to the editor of the Sphinx magazine, saying: “Tonight there is a new star in the Alpha horizon — Beta Beta Lambda is born.”
Seventy-five years later, the Alphas will mark their Diamond Anniversary with events going on from Monday, Nov. 5th through Sunday, Nov. 11th. Their premier event, the 75th Anniversary Gala will be on Saturday, Nov. 10th at the Trump Doral Golf Resort and Spa, featuring Grammy-nominated R&B singer Eric Roberson. Beta Beta Lambda Chapter is a five-time National Chapter of the Year; three-time host chapter for the National Convention; home of the 1994 Brother of the Year and has positioned itself as one of Greater Miami’s leading non-profit organizations. The Chapter’s new president is Anderson Eldridge III.
MIAMI — Steve Johnson was driving through his Liberty City neighborhood when he noticed a group of people registering to vote. He decided to stop so he could update his voter information.
“I wasn’t going to be turned away from the polls or have my ballot held back and risk losing my voice in this election because I failed to do something simple,” Johnson said afterwards.
Liberty City resident Annette Kerney also needed to update her information. “This election is too important to have trouble when you are trying to vote,” she said. “If your driver’s license does not match your voting card, well, that’s the kind of luck I don’t need.”
Members of the Beta Beta Lambda [BBΛ] Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. led the way for a field of clergy, politicos, youth groups, a high school marching band and even a motorcycle club in remembrance of a day when the world lost a King. The City of Miami and Miami Dade County in conjunction Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation sponsored the 9th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Candlelight Service on MLK Boulevard in Miami’s Liberty City. This event was in memoriam to the 44th Anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. King which occurred in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4th, 1968 at 6:01pm. Historically, the Miami Alphas have served as marshals for this event which is always held on the same date and start at the time of Dr. King’s assassination.
This year’s march and memorial also paid tribute to Trayvon Martin, a young high school student from Miami who was killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26th, 2012, by George Zimmerman, a community watchman. Mr. Martin, who was unarmed, was returning to a family friend home when an unfortunate confrontation occurred. To this day, Mr. Zimmerman has not been arrested and remains free while rallies and protests have been held across the country demanding that he be arrested on killing an unarmed teenager under false pretenses. Zimmerman presume that Martin was about to commit a crime and that he was defending himself under the controversial Florida Law called “Stand your Ground.”