The 1920s witnessed the birth of the Harlem Renaissance—a flowering of African American art, literature, music and culture. Alpha brothers Charles S. Johnson, W. E. B. DuBois, Countee Cullen, Noble Sissle, were entrepreneurs and participants in this creative upsurge.
During this time, the Fraternity had chartered 85 chapters in the United States and initiated over 3,000 members. During the Eighteenth Annual Convention of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, which met in Detroit, Michigan on December 27-31, 1925, the convention authorized the establishment of Graduate Chapters in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tau Lambda Chapter was organized in 1926, at what was then called Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College at Nashville, Tennessee, after its application was accepted by the General Convention. Brother Maney Owen, president of the Chi Chapter (Meharry Medical College), set aside the chapter in January, 1927.