Amid celebrating Black History and love in the same month lies the history of Black love. And ahh, —there’s nothing quite like D9 love!

Black love has existed in fraternity and sorority couples for over a century, and holds a special place in the Black community. 

The nine historically Black Greek-lettered sororities and fraternities in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) are affectionately referred to as the “Divine Nine (D9)”. When two members of these organizations marry, we call that “D9” Love.

Some of the earliest, prominent D9 couples met and fell in love during the Harlem Renaissance era. These couples exhibited Black love all while making an impact in their communities. 

D9 Love Beginnings

Eslanda Goode and Paul Robeson (pictured above) were married in August of 1921. This popular couple spent a majority of their professional career traveling internationally, performing in shows, and writing and speaking extensively about pan-african struggles. 

Goode was initiated into Alpha Beta now the New York graduate chapter of Delta Sigma Theta in 1921 and Robeson was initiated into Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at Lincoln University.

In 1923, Sadie T.M. Alexander (left) and Raymond Pace Alexander (right) married. They were a Philadelphia legal power-couple. Together, they set the world on fire – with their love and with their firsts! Dynamic alone but a force together!

Sadie was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the first African American woman admitted into the Pennsylvania Bar. Sadie T.M. Alexander served as the first National President of Delta Sigma Theta from 1919 to 1923.

Raymond, a Harvard trained attorney, served as judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. SRaymond Pace Alexander served Alpha Phi Alpha as First Vice President from 1922 to 1924.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity founder Dr. Henry Arthur Callis married Myra Colson Callis, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, in 1927. Dr. Callis was a physician and member of the faculty at Howard University College of Medicine; Myra Callis worked as social worker primarily with the Washington, D.C. Employment Service Center.

D9 Love In The Present Day

Today, the D9 love story has continued to celebrate their legacy and establish a deeper standard for Black love across community and social media platforms.

The organization has since created initiatives such as a dating app and web based platform called D9 Date. The dating platform connects like-minded individuals with a foundation within a fraternity or sorority for a potentially successful partnership, starting with compatibility that can lead to companionship and/or a relationship.

Couples have also utilized the acronym as a hashtag (#D9) on social media platforms to bring awareness to the D9 love story and represent its legacy.

Today we commemorate Divine Nine’s Black love and legacy now and forever.