Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® Honors Legacy of Councilman Willie Davis at Black Family Picnic


By: Anna S. Bright

Photo: Anna S. Bright

Recently, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®, Xi Omega Omega Chapter, hosted its annual Black Family Picnic at the Davis-Bailey Park in St. George, SC. Along with a special dedication ceremony, it was a fun-filled afternoon with great food, music, water activities, games, prizes, and so much more. The chapter’s picnic is an event that focuses on one of the sorority’s six initiatives, “Empower Our Families.” The overview of this initiative is that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has a strong history of supporting and servicing families, for we understand a healthy family is the foundation of a healthy community. We will take a multi-generational approach to fortify families within our communities by addressing child hunger and promoting positive youth development and leadership, mental well-being, and senior life (

A program was held before the other festivities with Gloria Bradley presiding. The crowd was given a warm welcome by the chapter’s president, Sylvia W. Williams. Anna S. Bright delivered the prayer, and she also recited a self-composed poem, “We, Too, Sing this Song Called America.” Dr. Joyce W. Davis, widow of the late Councilman Willie R. Davis, shared the occasion and its purpose with the attendees. Guest soloist, Mrs. Daisy Dash, inspired everyone with her soul-stirring rendition of a spiritual. Storytelling remains an integral part of the traditional Black Family Picnic; therefore, Alice Behlin wowed the crowd with her humorous, yet serious, narration of a story. After the dedication ceremony, Mahalia Buckner blessed the deliciously prepared meal, after which the fun and games began.

Another one of the sorority’s initiatives, “Enhance Our Environment,” was also focused upon at this event. In this initiative’s overview, “Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has the power to galvanize our organization of more than 120,000 active members, create a ripple effect, and make a significant impact on our environment” ( One of the areas of focus for this initiative is tree planting. Therefore, in a special dedication ceremony at the picnic, a magnolia tree was planted near the basketball court at the Bailey-Davis Park to honor the life and legacy of the late Dorchester County Councilman Willie R. Davis. On hand for this honor were his widow Dr. Davis and their daughter Jasmin Davis, who are both members of Xi Omega Omega Chapter of the sorority. They were presented with a certificate. During the ceremony, Michelle Manigault sang an inspirational selection. Victoria Folk is the chairman of the committee for this initiative.

Davis-Bailey Park is named in honor of two visionaries – the late Councilman Willie R. Davis and former Councilman George H. Bailey, Sr. Thanks to their foresight and leadership, this park will provide recreation and community building opportunities for all ages and abilities for decades to come. Councilman Davis passed away on July 26, 2018 with his family surrounding him with love. He served Dorchester County since 1991. During his tenure on Dorchester County Council, he served as Vice Chairman and served on the Lake Marion Regional Water Agency, Dorchester Seniors Inc., St. George NAACP, the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Rural Transportation Management Association, and the Rosenwald School Board of Directors.

A native of St. George, Mr. Davis was a graduate of Williams Memorial High School and held a bachelor’s degree in science and biology from Claflin University, as well as a master’s degree in counseling from South Carolina State University. Having committed his life to education as a teacher and administrator, he served in the Colleton County School District for thirty-six years. Because he lived as a man of faith, Councilman Davis was a member of the St.

Mark United Methodist Church, where he served as a class leader, certified lay speaker, Sunday School teacher, and treasurer.

Prior to the end of the picnic, a group of the chapter’s members performed the “AKA Stroll” to the tune of “Set It Off”! The picnic closed with remarks by the chairman, Edith Bright-Washington, and a prayer. Other members of the committee are Yong Crosby, Florence Reed, Sylvia Williams, Dr. Joyce Washington Davis, Anna S. Bright, Jasmin W. Davis, Gloria Bradley, Brenda McKay, Patrice DeLee-Mitchell, Kayla Hasty, Mahalia Buckner, and Tehuana Hodges. The chapter gave special thanks to the “Honey-Do Club,” spouses of some of the chapter’s members, who were present and assisted with the food preparation. Xi Omega Omega Chapter has received raving reviews about this event, and many are already looking forward to next year’s picnic!