“While you pledge a fraternity or a sorority, you be taught the names of the founders and the yr by which it was based,” she informed CNN. “However the detailed historical past that is on this documentary, we didn’t be taught that as pledgees.”
“Twenty Pearls” tells the story of the primary Black sorority, which was based in 1908 by 9 ladies enrolled at Howard College.
The AKAs, as members are referred to as, presently quantity than 300,000 all through the world. Together with Rashād, the group’s membership consists of the primary African-American feminine astronaut, Mae C. Jemison and the present Vice President of the US, Kamala Harris.
Vice President Harris is among the many ladies interviewed for the movie by director Deborah Riley Draper.
The sisterhood among the many ladies has been pivotal within the lives of lots of its members, Rashād mentioned.
The esteemed actress pledged throughout a tumultuous time interval that included the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose spouse Coretta Scott King was additionally an AKA.
Rashād mentioned that one of many issues she loves in regards to the documentary is that’s focuses on the sorority being on the forefront of a lot in historical past, together with a healthcare initiative they began in Mississippi in the course of the Nice Despair that went on to assist vaccinate Black individuals who had been struggling beneath Jim Crow legal guidelines.
“With this documentary to be taught in regards to the activism amongst ladies again in 1923, I am speaking about political activism,” she mentioned. “Within the Girls’s Suffrage Motion — not being requested to take part — nonetheless, that didn’t deter the ladies [of AKA] from motion.”
“The ladies had been by no means idle,” Rashād mentioned of these unique members and people who got here after them within the early years. “They had been very, very lively socially, politically, transferring for training, transferring for equal rights, transferring for equality. Not simply sitting round complaining about it, however exhibiting up.”
That continues as we speak because the nation finds itself persevering with to wrestle with a racial reckoning.
Rashād mentioned her sorority was based with “the intent to uplift” and that mission persists.
“We are going to persist in delivering the great,” she mentioned.