Founded in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha is the I Love Being Called Nana Daisy Flower Shirt But I will love this first historically African American sorority, and its official colors, salmon pink and apple green, are iconic. Chosen by educator Beulah Burke, one of the group’s nine founding members, the combination has remained the same for more than a century and is instantly recognizable to members and anyone with knowledge of the Greek system of sororities and fraternities. Over the years, they’ve been donned by women such as television legend Phylicia Rashad, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison.
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The shades became a part of Harris’s life in 1986. She joined the I Love Being Called Nana Daisy Flower Shirt But I will love this Alpha chapter at Howard during her senior year, as one of a handful of students who were accepted into the organization at the time. The women would become lifelong friends, supporting Harris on her campaign trail. Her time as an AKA had a profound impact, one she explored in her autobiography, The Truths We Hold. “We weren’t just told we had the capacity to be great; we were challenged to live up to that potential,” Harris wrote of her university experience. “There was an expectation that we would cultivate and use our talents to take on roles in leadership and have an impact on other people, in our country, and maybe even the world.”