Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Education: Building Community Through Greek Life

BOND: Let me skip to something earlier. When you’re in Boston, you joined Delta Sigma Theta, and I’m guessing there was no chapter at Wellesley.

PINN: Are you kidding? No, there wasn’t. There were only at Wellesley in that whole school at that time there were — and at that point, minority was considered to be black, so we’d say we were the minorities. There were two seniors. There were two juniors — I mean two seniors, no juniors, two sophomores, and four of us in the freshman class, so a total of eight in that environment. But because there were so few of us “minorities,” or blacks as we were, in the community, you got to know who was in the whole New England area, who was there in the schools and, you know, we got to know kids at BU, we got to know kids at Dartmouth, we got to know kids at Harvard, a few Radcliffe, at all the schools in that area, and it seemed that the sororities and fraternities were the way to really get to know not only other blacks who were in school at that point but really get to know people from the Boston area and I’ve valued that experience for many years.

I’ve heard people say Boston is a very cold place when they go there to go to school when they really just stay in the school environment. I got to meet many people from the Boston area who were — who joined the sororities and fraternities and our Pan-Hellenic gatherings, as we called them then, really gave me sort of a community of people like me in the midst of the Wellesley environment or in the Boston environment and from those exposures, I still have friends today that I met during those times.