DeKalb, IL — A 6th grade science teacher in Mississippi, is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. But his students think the organization’s name is Apple Fried Apple Paternity and the rest is history.
Darian Holt walked into class a few months ago at Smilow Prep Charter School in Jackson, Miss., carrying his bag with an Alpha Phi Alpha seal on it, and the students took notice. In a viral video posted to TikTok, Holt explained that the fraternity is Alpha Phi Alpha, not Apple Fried Apple.
“For some reason, they thought I was saying, ‘Apple Fried Apple,’” Holt told YR Media. “I tried to correct them, but it's like they were stuck on the fact that I was saying, ‘Apple Fried Apple.’ After that, they kept going with it, and they ran with it.”
He used it as an opportunity to educate his students on the Alphas which is part of the Divine Nine, a group of historically Black fraternities and sororities. As a surprise, on the last day of school, he gave the kids t-shirts with the words “Apple Fried Apple” on them and a nickname, or line name, on the back.
“It was just so much love because it was so cute, but it was so funny because it's like the fact that I actually went and bought those shirts with that name on it. It was crazy,” he said.
Holt posted the picture to Instagram of the students wearing the t-shirts, and the post went viral. He began to receive food and gifts from Motts, Snapple, Popeyes and more. He personally delivered the food sent to him to all the students since the school year had ended.
“I went and saw the kids and gave them their food and just let them know that they’re Hollywood now, but they already know that,” he said. “They've been on Good Morning America, local news and all this other stuff, and they see themselves on TikTok, so they’re feeling it.”
Next, Holt hopes the joke can bring even bigger change to the students’ lives, such as Macbooks from Apple to help support their education. He also hopes that he can one day create a nonprofit organization called Apple Fried Apple that would support kids in the classroom.
“Like I said, this started off as a joke, but I mean they love the positivity and things like that, and I just want to try my best to continue keeping that positivity going and just push this thing as far as it can go,” he said.