WTF is J13? How To Tell If Your Friend Is A Delta

It started about a week ago.

I began noticing posts and memes on all my social media that said “J13 is coming.”

I had no idea what J13 was. Was it the new Jordans? No, women aren’t into sneakers like that. Is J13 a rapper? Is that what they’re calling J Cole now? Nah, he just released an album a few weeks ago about folding clothes. Then I noticed it was mostly Christian, Black, educated women sending out the J13 stuff.

“Oh shit,” I thought “Jesus is coming back and I haven’t even cleaned my house!” (My pastor used to always say “When Jesus returns, he is gonna clean house!” I’m not even a religious person, but if Jesus is coming back, to save the world and separate right from wrong, I didn’t want him to have to clean up my house too. Plus the Prince of Peace, Lamb of God has been gone for 2000 years, he probably doesn’t even know how to use a vacuum cleaner.)

So then I asked one of my friends whose Instagram feed was filled with J13 announcements if she knew what time and date the big J13 was going to happen (although I think I read somewhere in the Bible that no one knows the day or the hour…) and she told me “January 13th, dummy. I was offended, but still curious, and asked how she knew.

“Because I am a Delta!”

Wow, I’ve heard people say that everyone who isn’t in their sorority pledged wrong, but I had no idea that Deltas get to know when Jesus was coming back! I needed more answers. So I started calling all of my Delta friends (I am a Que, so I have a lot of Delta friends. A lot), I know they are sworn to secrecy on some things, but I tried to finesse some information out of them. First I needed to know how they knew when J13 was–They all said you have to learn it before you pledge. Then I wanted to know if it was such a big secret, why they put it all over social media…


I know that NegusWhoRead has some (or maybe a lot) of White readers who have no idea what I’m talking about when I use words like “Delta.” It’s ok, my caucasian patrons, let me explain:

Delta Sigma Theta is one of the four Black sororities that Black women started because y’all used to… You know how your people used to do (and I say “used to” reluctantly. Kiddingly. Sarcastically).

Anyway, Deltas are all around you. You probably don’t even know you work with a few Deltas, are friends with some, and might have even dated a few. If you want to know if someone is a Delta, here are a few clues:

If she wears red so often that for a while you thought she was a member of the Bloods, she might be a Delta.

If she’s introduced you to 15-20 different friends from college she’s very close with, and you thought it was an incredible coincidence that they all had the same name–Mya Less… No dummy. She’s saying “This is my L.S….” because she’s probably a Delta

If you have ever wondered why there is always police cars, fire trucks and ambulances in the background when you call her on the phone, those aren’t sirens, those are her sorority sisters, because she might be a Delta.

If you’ve been to her house and wondered why she has so many University of Alabama elephant mascots decorating her living room, even though she went to another school, she might be a Delta.

If you know an older woman–I’m not talking about 47 years old, I’m talking walking on a walker, has great-grandchildren, fought-for-your civil rights, head-of-the-usher-board-and-mothers-choir–who wears a wide-brimmed hat at every church picnic with a triangle stitched into the band, she might be a Delta.

If that lady is always hopping on a plane for every regional, State and national meeting, she is probably a Delta.

If that same old woman get sick, and on her death-bed, she pulls you close and whispers in your ear “just make sure my granddaughters don’t pledge AKA,” she might be a Delta.

If she disappeared for a few weeks when you two were in college, and reappeared telling you something about being a “pyramid,” she didn’t go to Egypt, but she might be a Delta.

If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve never seen her wearing pink, buy anything pink, and one time you took her out and she ordered a lemonade, but when the waitress asked “is pink lemonade ok?” She replied, “I’ll just have water.” She might be a Delta.

If she is a middle school principal she might be a Delta. (Seriously. Every female middle or high school principal I have ever met is a Delta. It is a qualification?).

If you’ve ever thought “wow, she’s got a lot of brothers. And they all seem to love purple…” she might be a Delta.

If she keeps an all-White suit in the closet, but you’ve never seen her wear it–not on Easter, at a White party or even a baptism–that’s probably her “intake outfit” and she might be a Delta.

If she has a paddle on her wall and you thought she was into kinky sex, but also thought it was inappropriate to have it on the wall of her office at work–she might be a Delta.

If you thought she was signed to Rocafella Records because she’s always throwing up “the Roc” sign, no she’s not a rapper, but she might be a Delta.

If she was President of the student body, the Black Student Union, the woman’s club, Bible study, led the campus protests, but still had time to go to step practice she might be a Delta.

If you thought she liked cleaning furniture because she always talks about when she “pledged,” she’s not talking about the dust spray, but she might be a Delta.

If you’ve ever been at a party with her and wondered how she and 23 other complete strangers knew the exact same line dance, but no one else seemed to know it…She might be a Delta.

If they jumped up to do that previously mentioned line dance as soon as they heard the words “Cash money records taking over for the nine nine and two thousand…” she probably is a Delta.

If you wondered why all of her college girlfriends had the same “birthday” and celebrated together every year, she might be a Delta.

If you’ve ever wondered why she liked the internet so much, because she always talks about when she was “online,” she might be a Delta.

I she tells you she’s “going grad chapter” and then shows up one day with a new red license plate, a red key chain, a new red purse, a new red hat, and  736 new t-shirts, she’s probably a brand new Delta.

If you thought all of her friends first names was “saw-rah” you’ve met “Saw-rah Ayanna,” “Saw-Rah Kate,” and seven “Saw-rah Tashas…” She’s saying “soror” and she might be a Delta.

If you’re dating her, and you get kinda jealous at how tight she squeezes guys wearing purple shirts, she might be a Delta.

If you wonder why everyone always buys her elephants for her birthday and Christmas, she might be a Delta.

If she is pregnant, and everyone knows it’s going to be a girl, but you’re wondering why everyone gave you the side eye when you brought a little pink baby outfit to the baby shower, she might be a Delta.

If she yells “ooo-oop” anywhere–at a funeral, a State Dinner at the White House, The Vatican, in court–and someone always “oo-oops” back, She might be a Delta.

If she’s smart, hardworking, funny, sexy, cool, intelligent…

Look. You get what I’m trying to say. I don’t have time for this.

The Deltas are having a party tonight, and I know it’s going to be lit because it’s their Founders Day and Jesus is coming back.

Which reminds me, I gotta go clean my house before The messiah gets here.

Thanks Deltas, and happy Founders Day!


About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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