My name is Rashid Darden and I am a published author and enthusiast of the black fraternal experience. My own memberships include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Gamma Xi Phi, Prince Hall Freemasonry, and the Apollonians.
I am working on a major book project called Joining Society: A Survey of the Black Membership Organization Experience in the District of Columbia, 1825-2020.
You or your organization may have already been contacted with questions about your group’s emergence in Washington, DC. My intent is to paint a complete picture of the selective membership organization experience among black people in the nation’s capital.
Included in this book will be masonic organizations, fraternities, sororities, social clubs, literary societies, and civic groups. I will not be including predominately black units of historically white groups.
This will be a professionally written, deeply researched, and independently distributed book. In order to be fair and impartial in this research, I will neither seek nor accept funding or sponsorship from any organization that I research.
I am writing this book because of my deep love for the District of Columbia and my love for the fraternal organizations within its borders. These organizations have provided service to the community, social outlets, and leadership development for nearly 200 years. I believe that it is the right time to properly document these achievements in a context of the history of Washington as a city.
I am qualified to write this book because of my proficiency as a writer, because I am a native Washingtonian, and because of my in-group status as a member and beneficiary of the very groups I am studying.
Please reach out to me if you have questions about this work or have historical information that you’d like to share.