The Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated rang in Black History Month in grand fashion on February 4 at their legacy event, The Black Heritage Calendar Fest. The Afro-centric event, with many attendees dressed in traditional African fashions, was held at the Eau Gallie Civic Center. The event, founded over twenty years ago by chapter member Mrs. Sandra Pelham, was chaired for 2023 by Mrs. Robin Rice. The theme for this 21st annual celebration was BLACK EXCELLENCE: CELEBRATING OUR DIVERSE CULTURES. And it was a night centered around acknowledging and celebrating Black excellence, entertaining the 350 attendees with African American art, history, music, dance, cultural experiences, and, of course, soul food.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was founded on January 13, 1913, by 22 collegiate women at Howard University to promote academic excellence and has become one of the preeminent service-based sororities, with more than 300,000 initiated members and over 1000 chartered chapters worldwide. The Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter was chartered in 1989. The Black Heritage Calendar Fest incorporated education and the arts. Chapter members prepared exhibits on a variety of topics reflecting the diverse nature of the African American experience in America since 1619. Tributes honored historical figures such as poet James Baldwin, athlete Wilma Rudolph, former president Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama; African American poetry, The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. Exhibits also commemorated Maya Angelou’s movie “Down in the Delta,” Alice Walker’s book/movie “The Color Purple,” and the historic Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court case in 1954. Other exhibits were informational in nature, with focusses on Kwanzaa, Juneteenth, and the Gullah culture.