Black People : Why Kappas Have Canes (History)

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by KappaAlphaPsi, May 8, 2006.

  1. KappaAlphaPsi

    KappaAlphaPsi Banned MEMBER

    Apr 4, 2006
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    The use of walking sticks and canes may very well date back to centuries

    B.C. to the times when shepherds would tend to their flocks. This ties into

    the early roots of Christianity and leads to the candy canes of today being

    stiped the way they are (3 thin stripes and 1 solid stripe) to remind us of the

    Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and the blood of Christ. The shape was believed

    to be chosen because the cane, if pointed upward, resembles the letter "J"

    for Jesus. The history of the cane also ties in with the African Rights of

    Passage, and was a symbol of manhood that had to be carried by initiates

    wishing to become adult members of their respective tribe.

    Dealing more directly with the evolution of the cane and how it relates to the

    Fraternity, canes started off as assistive devices, and later turned into social

    status symbols for society. In the 1700's and 1800's, canes were a fashion

    embellishment. One "wore" a cane. These old canes were decorative, objects

    to be admired and be proud of. They became collectors items and

    represented the true sign of a Gentleman.

    Members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity have always worn or carried canes

    since the beginning of the Fraternity in 1911. Although unintentional in its

    inception, this occurance soon became an unofficial tradition of Kappa men,

    as Kappas have always strived to be noble and productive members of the

    community. The cane, being the symbol of a Gentlmen who exhibits such

    characteristics, was then proudly adorned by members of the Fraternity.

    All throughout the 50's and 60's, canes used in the art of stepping were

    standard canes of approximately 36 inches in length, give or take half a foot.

    Eventually, as stated before, the canes would be adorned with the Fraternity

    colors of crimson and cream, but they were still standard length. Members of

    Kappa Alpha Psi would perform routines know as "Taps" where the canes

    would be beaten on the ground in time with the rhythmic beat of the step


    The turn of the decade would reveal an evolution in cane stepping known

    today as "twirling". Undergraduate members of Kappa Alpha Psi in the 70's,

    not content with Taps alone, would then create a new form of cane mastery

    which involved much more skill and talent than merely banging the cane on

    the ground in a certain beat.

    Thus, the full length cane, as well as standing straight up in order to perform

    a "Tap", has been sacrificed, making way for twirling ability and speed.

    Backtracking for a moment, a very important part in cane stepping history

    was the acceptance of this trade by the Grand Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi

    Fraternity, Incorporated. All the aforementioned events have involved the

    undergraduate members of the Fraternity. However, cane stepping, even

    from its beginnings during the 1950's, has not been considered an official part

    of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraterntiy, Inc. until as of late. The National Organization

    was slow to accept this as an official part of the Fraternity, even though

    undergraduate members, across the entire United States, were widely

    participating in the art and tradition of cane stepping.
  2. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 19, 2001
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    Exellent post. I found it quite informative

    :great: :new:
  3. Radical Faith

    Radical Faith Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Dec 3, 2003
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    Operations Manager
    North Carolina
    Thank you for sharing Brother..:book:


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