Achievers & Accolades

County Officials Recognize Women Who Bought Delta House In 1961

By Staff Reports, posted Apr 2, 2024
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners recognized members of the Wilmington (NC) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. on March 18. (Photo courtesy of New Hanover County)
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners on March 18 acknowledged "the resiliency and courage of a small group of women, who stood in the face of a still segregated Wilmington in 1961, a Wilmington where race dictated access and acquisition, to purchase a house and to obtain a mortgage."

Twenty sorority sisters of the Wilmington (NC) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. achieved a significant milestone for African Americans in the Port City by spearheading the purchase and satisfactorily paying the mortgage on the house ahead of term, according to a news release.

The women were Margaret Bond, Caronell Chestnut, Augusta Cooper, Ruthy Davis, Alice Eakins, Margaret Green, Allene Johnson, Mildred Johnson, Shirley Jordan, Zoa Lane, Hazel Mallette, Lorena McBroom, Fannie Salter, Ruth Self, Ollie Telfair, Ceyla Trent, Parthenia Turner, Shirley Webb, Georgia Wheeler and Ann Wright, the release stated.

The Delta House is still standing.

"Throughout the early 2000s, each spring, during the N.C. Azalea Festival, a health fair was hosted on the front porch of the house, taking advantage of all the foot traffic of residents going to and from the festivities," the release stated. "In partnership with New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the Health Department, vans were on site offering mammograms and HIV screenings. ... Most recently the house was used as the central location for the compilation and distribution of gift bags for Seniors during the 2023 Christmas season."

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is an organization of college-educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community, according to the release. Founded on Jan.13, 1913, by 22 women at Howard University, the sorority is currently a sisterhood of more than 300,000 predominantly Black college-educated women.

The Wilmington (NC) Alumnae Chapter is the local representative of the sorority, providing assistance and support in New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties, the release stated.
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