Friday, December 18, 2015

Rest Well Soror Bonita Jackson-Butler



Many years ago as I was searching the world wide web I came across this website called the "DeltaNet." I will NEVER forget it; I was in my mom's basement, and I spent HOURS on this site. It was the only Delta Sigma Theta website that was out there on the world wide web. The creator of this website was Bonita Jackson, also affectionately known as Bee Jae. The website had several topics including "How to become a Delta", Do’s and Don’ts in Greekdom, her experience, and her journey into Delta-Land, etc. It was filled with a ton of Delta/Greek information, and a prospective’s member’s dream. The only other information that was available for people who wanted to join the organization was “In Search Of Sisterhood by Paula Giddings, so finding this on the internet was amazing. I remember bookmarking the website because I just KNEW I would be back to visit. She had a section for “members only” and I couldn’t WAIT to become a Delta to join the sorors’ only section.

Then it happened! April of 2000, I finally became a Delta, and one of the first things I did was sign up on her site. I was so excited that I finally gained access to meet so many other sorors across the globe who were also members. Two months later I had the opportunity to attend my very first Delta Convention. Bee Jae was selling “DeltaNet” T-Shirts for sorors to wear and she had a special request that if we bought a shirt, she wanted us to wear it to the step show. I bought my shirt and wore it proudly to my very first Delta National Step Show in Chicago, IL. I still have that shirt tucked away in my Delta cedar chest. Before the convention was over, I was finally able to meet her. I told her how I was very grateful for her website and how I learned a lot from the site.

Soror Bonita Jackson-Butler was a straight-forward type person who would tell it like it is. I have always admired her for that. There were so many conversations I had with her through email during my first few years of being a Delta. I was like a sponge and was soaking up her Delta knowledge. “There is no “S” at the end of National Baby soror, You can’t do this baby soror, Let me show the correct way to do that baby soror, etc. She always referred to me as “baby soror.”
Not only was I a member of the DeltaNet, but I was also a part of her DeltaNet group on yahoo groups, an active member of her group entitled “My Sorors Place” on Delphi forums, and we were members of many other Delta only type sites.

BeeJae was my inspiration for starting this website. Back then DeltaNet was the ONLY Black Greek Letter Organization that had a website. I met so many sorors on her website before and after I became a Delta. In my first post, "My journey to DeltaLand" I spoke about a soror who I met through her website when I a 6 months prior to me becoming a member. We became very close and she gave me the courage that I needed to get over my shyness. The first time I physically laid eyes on here was at my wedding. This couldn't have happened if it was not for this wonderful website, DeltaNet, created by Soror Jackson-Butler.

On December 18th, I found out that Bee Jae passed on. I am sad. I will always remember her for the love she has shown me, the knowledge she gave me, and I will miss her calling me baby soror. (Even though she hasn’t called me that in YEARS). Although I haven’t logged on to DeltaNet in a few years, I logged on tonight. You see I am still a member of the website. Logging on brought back so many memories of when I first logged on, when I first signed up, buying my DeltaNet T-Shirt, and reading her many posts about Greek life in general. Although she hasn't updated the website within the last year or so, I am sad to know that it will never be updated again.

Rest Peacefully Soror! You will be missed!



4 comments:

  1. I am saddened to hear this news. DeltaNet was one of the very first sites I found and printed pages from during my initial phases of interest. I always hoped I'd have the opportunity to say "thank you" once I finally cross those burning sands. Thank you for taking the time to start such an informative site for those interested in joining such a wonderful sisterhood. I will not get that chance in person with Ms. Jackson but I wanted to take the time to say it anyway..Thank you for all your hard work and words- it did not go unnoticed and has been an inspiration.

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  2. I cannot believe she passed on. When I realized I wanted to be a Delta many years ago, I too stumbled across her facebook page. This was in the mid-nineties. Her website was filled with a ton of Greek life information like your website. I was hoping to sign up for her website members only once I crossed over into Deltaland. So sad that I will not be able to.

    V- Thank you for this post. Thank you for starting this blog. Thank you for being inspired by Ms. Jackson-Butler to create this blog. She has made an impact on you, and you have made an impact on me and I am sure hundreds of others. Happy New Year my soon to be soror of DST.

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  3. To all you "baby sorors" I bid you peace and good fortune. I am a 40+ soror and I want you to always remember that we are part of a dynamic sisterhood.Bee Jae was so special. Sleep in eternal peace Bee Jae. We love and miss you.

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  4. I remember my excitement when I stumbled across The Deltanet. I was so excited and lived on the site. Vicki, your remembrances are on point. I remember that as soon as I crossed I applied for full member access to the site. I am saddened to hear of Bee Jae's passing. Rest well Soror.

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