Violette (Neatley) Anderson Day

by | Apr 15, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Eighth President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Violette (Neatley) Anderson was the only female in her class at Chicago Law School. In 1920, she became the first African-American woman to graduate from law school in Illinois. Anderson was one of the first women of any race in Illinois to engage in private law practice. In 1922, Anderson became the first African-American and woman appointed to the position of Assistant Prosecutor in Chicago. After five years of practice before the high court in Illinois, on January 29, 1926, she became the first African-American female attorney admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. This achievement set a precedent that allowed other black women to do the same.

President Anderson showed her final act of “Zeta Pride” by bequeathing her summer home in Idlewild, Michigan, to the sorority. Anderson named her summer cottage “Birch Haven” because it was her haven away from home amongst the birch trees.

Beginning in 1937, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated established Violette (Neatley) Anderson Day on April 15th annually to honor her memory.