Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 2/18/19 – Zephaniah



Greetings Brothers,
Beginning in 1940, eight men thoroughly immersed in the true and dynamic Omega spirit unapologetically trained Omega's programmatic sites on social action and the fight for equality and civil rights. From 1940 to 1961, Looby, Johnson, Penn, Murray, Reynolds, Potts, Tucker, and Newton occupied the Office of Grand Basileus and each advanced through edict and example purposeful and unveiled engagement in the cause.
Zephaniah Alexander Looby was the first of these great men to manifestly articulate the Founders' notion of service. In this week's Monday Pearl, the H&A committee pulled together a few articles from the 1926, 1960, 1961, and 1973 Oracles (articles combined in the attached file) chronicling Looby's example, personal sacrifice, and lasting contribution. We hope you find a little UPLIFT therein.
Read More - Looby
F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee
___________________________________
The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous "Pearls" can be found at http://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to 3dhistoryandarchives@gmail.com.

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 2/11/19 – The Tenor of Omega



Greetings Brothers,

Most of us have heard the name Roland Hayes (1887-1977). Some of us may even remember that he was one of the early elected (honorary) members of the Fraternity. A smaller number of us may be aware of Brother Hayes' talent and renown. And, an even smaller number of us have actually experienced his gift. I'm not sure how many of us are left, but I suspect a modest few are aware of the character of the man that likely qualified him for membership. This week's Monday Pearl attempts to present to some and introduce to others the Omega in Brother Hayes.

Resolute, courageous, patient, persistent, and principled was Brother Hayes. He was one of the world's greatest tenors of all time, while also personifying the tenor of Omega. As many Omegas have done over the course of history, Brother Hayes buckled the foundation of injustice, inequality, discrimination, and Jim Crowism only to see the walls it supported eventually fall. Hayes performed all over the world to diverse audiences in some of the most storied venues, including Carnegie Hall. Nevertheless, despite his acknowledged virtuosity, he was never afforded the opportunity to perform at the historic Metropolitan Opera House (the Met) due to the color of his skin. The attached article (outlined in purple) appeared in the November 19, 1938 edition of the Pittsburgh Courier and chronicles Hayes' stoic resolve to rise above the ignominies of his time. (Best viewed by downloading the file and opening it from a location on your hard drive. Viewing the file in a web browser may not work well.)

If you've never heard Brother Hayes sing, have a listen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFOsVxQ_SmY (best heard with a nice pair of noise-cancelling headphones or good speakers - don't sell Brother Hayes short). In 1925, Brother William Stuart Nelson described Brother Hayes' talent in this way - 

The greatness of Roland Hayes lies in the fact that through his songs, of whatever composer and in whatever tongue they may be, he bares his own soul and unfolds the story of a race. The Negro must give to the world not only his song but his soul. He has his gift to the world but to present it successfully he must speak a varied language. He must play upon the instrument that every people offers. Negro poets will sing of their own joys and sorrows but more than that they will strike the full chords of human emotion, interpreting not only racial but universal feeling. His painters and sculptors will take for their subjects the scenes and folk of their native land, but also, they will paint the blue skies of the Riviera, Italian sunsets, Neapolitan life. They will see the Jungfrau and Mount Blanc and returning carve out of marble the greatness, the bigness, and the Godlike things they have seen in the mountains.
Read More - TenorOfOmega

Make it a great week Brothers.

F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee
___________________________________

The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous "Pearls" can be found at http://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to 3dhistoryandarchives@gmail.com.

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 2/4/19 – Three Laws of History



Greetings Brothers,
During the 57th Grand Conclave in Atlanta, GA (1976), between the report of the Grand Keeper of Records and Seal and the election of officers, International Public Relations Committee Chairman, Leo M. Zinn, hosted a panel discussion themed, Black Activity in America."  Panelists, Jesse Hill, Jr., President of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Benjamin E. Mays, President Emeritus of Morehouse College, and Donald L. Hobson, Common Pleas Court Judge, reflected on the history of blacks in business, religion and education, and law and politics. The H&A Committee hopes you find the attached transcript a worthwhile read.
Read More - Three Laws of History
F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee
___________________________________
The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous "Pearls" can be found at http://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to 3dhistoryandarchives@gmail.com.

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 1/28/19 – To All Thy Precepts



Greetings Brothers,
While doing some archiving, the H&A Committee came across the attached report of activities submitted by Lambda Omega Chapter to the 1955 Third District Conference. To the initiated it is much more than a report of activities; it is a conveyance of the Omega Spirit and a mosaic of the Omega value system. In this regard, the report is timelessly relevant and keenly instructive.

When reading the report you are likely to notice the several appeals to exceptionalism and proportionate disassociation with the mediocre. Lambda Omega reports on its Achievement Week speaker, the accomplished civil rights attorney and long time member of Phi Phi Chapter, Brother Oliver W. Hill. Lambda Omega's recognition of Vivian Carter Mason for outstanding civic achievement was also telling. Mrs. Carter was a staunch advocate for gender and civil rights as well as an ardent supporter of universal education. She served as an influential president of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) from 1953-1957. She is well-known for founding the Women's Council for Interracial Cooperation in communities such as Norfolk and Arlington, Virginia in 1945. Mason also founded the Committee of 100 Women, which allowed for underprivileged children of color in New York City to attend summer camp for free (Wikipedia). Finally, consistent with its legacy of firsts, the storied chapter reports on it being the first graduate chapter to contribute to the Century Club. Conceived by 21st Grand Basileus Grant Reynolds, the Century Club was a fundraising initiative implemented to benefit the Omega Shrine Building Fund.

Although all great stuff, perhaps the greatest of all was the chapter's prioritization of fellowship.

Read More - 1955 Lambda Omega Chapter Report

Make it a great week brothers.
F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee
___________________________________

The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous "Pearls" can be found at http://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to 3dhistoryandarchives@gmail.com

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 1/14/19 – Ozark Hillbilly



Greetings Brothers,
On page 13 of the "Blue Book," Herman Dreer succinctly described the characteristics the Founders' were looking for in potential Omega men. Dreer wrote,
"the undergraduate Founders began to study the student body carefully. Each placed in a notebook or memorandum the names of prospective candidates. Men who were considered to be worthy from the point of view of scholarship, ability to fraternize, courage and the other cardinal principles already agreed upon, were to be approached as to their willingness to cooperate in this youthful venture."
In last week's Monday Pearl the History and Archives Committee posited by proxy - the "Omega Personality," as articulated by Brother John P. Murchison in 1927. Although Murchison was comparatively less succinct than the Founders, his message was the same.
If ever there was a brother who met the Founders' criteria for membership selection or who possessed Murchison's "Omega Personality," it was Alfred E. Smith, the Ozark Hillbilly. Please find time to read the attached article from the Summer 1974 Oracle. The article is a little long, but a very good read. You might just recognize a little of yourself in the text.
Keep safe out there this week Brothers. If you think of it, check on a Senior Brother and make sure he is faring well in this snow.
F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee
___________________________________
The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous "Pearls" can be found at http://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to 3dhistoryandarchives@gmail.com

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 12/31/18 – The Great War



Greetings Brothers,

Happy Holidays once again to you all. The H&A Committee wishes everyone a safe, happy, and prosperous 2019. 

Perhaps some have already read the attached but in case you missed it, please take time to read this informative chronicle of Omega's involvement in The Great War (World War I), written and produced by Brother Jonathan Matthews (7-83-A), International History and Archives Committee member.

On the recommendation of my friend, Brother Lucius Dalton, I am reading the book "Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody," by James H. Cone. It's a great read and I encourage you to read it for yourself. Over the course of his career, Cone, I've learned, boldly evolved into one of the most liberated and courageous definers of Black theology. Perhaps as much as any other authority on the topic (I now have some more homework to do), Cone intellectually and unapologetically relates Black theology and Black power. It made me think about a thesis that was shared with me several years ago titled "Of Vision and Power: The Life of Bishop Edgar Amos Love" by Brother J. Samuel Cook that shed light on Founder Love's Role in integrating the United Methodist Church and influencing the Civil Rights movement (If you haven't already read this one, I've attached it here as well). Anyway, Cone might have been a little radical for our worthy Founder, but maybe not.

In his book, Cone shares an encounter he had with our own Brother Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, during which Mays provided an inspirational and transcendent context for Cone's ministry - teaching and scholarship - different than the path he believed was before him. If it's good, Omega is always nearby! The book also includes an introduction written by Cornell West, and while West has drawn the ire of many over the years, he proffered the following that I could get with -  "You better not stand up and move forward until you are connected to the best of what has gone into you." 
What in Sam Hell does this have to do with The Great War? I guess I got a little indulgent, but it seems to me that The Great War is fought on many fronts in many ways, and oh by the way...it isn't over. The Great War is still being waged today. As we (Omega) stand up and move forward and brandish our weapons of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift, (our own peculiar manifestation of Black Power) let us remain connected to the best of what has gone into us. There are many examples in Brother Matthews piece, The Great War; in the likeness of Ben Mays; and in the examples of many others who came before us, both celebrated and uncelebrated. Happy New Year Brothers. Stand up and move forward in the Spirit of Omega because the Spirit of Omega is in you!
F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 12/24/18 – Good Memories



Greetings Brothers,

Peace and blessings to you and your loved ones during this holiday season. Prior to 1955, in addition to preparing for the Christmas holiday, brothers were preparing to attend the Grand Conclave after Christmas and before the New Year. It wasn't until the 42nd Grand Conclave held in Los Angeles, California in 1955 that the Fraternity began holding the Grand Conclave in the summer - August to be exact.

Accordingly, the 33rd Grand Conclave was held in Fort Worth, Texas from December 27-30, 1946. During this Grand Conclave, the 18th Grand Basileus, and first from the Third District after the organization of districts, Campbell C. Johnson, presented the "Memoirs of the Third District." (Click here to download Memoirs). It seems he was proud of the district he called home. The Memoirs provide a measure of just how MIGHTY the Third District has been over the years.

Thanks to Brother Jonathan "Flash" Matthews for sharing these Memoirs with us.

F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 12/17/18 – Sterling’s Character



Greetings Brothers,

Pope Francis once said that "Grace is not part of consciousness; it is the amount of light in our souls." Organizations too have souls; their radiance determined by the collective spirit of their members. Perhaps as much as any Omega man did Sterling Allen Brown exemplify and reflect the light of Omega - the grace of the Psi Phi. In the attached, we hope you find a little oil for your lamp.

Read More - Sterling's Character

F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 12/10/18 – The Busboy Poet



Greetings Brothers,

This week's Monday Pearl is a little light reading about a heavy dude, written by a heavy dude who happened to be a longtime member of a heavy District - The Third, of course. The attached article was written by Dr. Arthur P. Davis, Author and Professor of English at Howard University for roughly 30 years. Brother Davis was one of the foremost literary scholars on the Harlem Renaissance. Some of his biggest literary contributions were  "Harlem During The New Negro Renaissance,"  "Cavalcade: Negro American Writers from 1760 to the Present," "The Negro Caravan" which he wrote with Brother Sterling A. Brown, and "From The Dark Tower." Brother Davis was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Columbia University where he received the A.B ., A.M ., and Ph.D .degrees.

The attached article is from the Summer 1971 Oracle and provides a window into the life and genius of Brother James Mercer Langston Hughes (1926 Beta), known by a some as "L Train," and by others as "The Busboy Poet."

Read More - The Busboy Poet_Full Article

F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee

Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 12/3/18 – Johnson Penn


Greetings Brothers,

Last week's Monday Pearl highlighted the Office of Second Vice Grand Basileus. Included in the communication was a list of the brothers who occupied said office. Included in the list was Brother J. Heyward Harrison from Pi Chapter at Morgan State College in Baltimore, MD (understood by most to be organized in the Second District). Please note that Brother Harrison was included in the Third District 2VGB list because when he served in 1953, Pi Chapter was organized in the Third District. In 1955, Pi Chapter was reorganized into the Second District. The History and Archives Committee understands that Bro. Harrison went on to serve as a proud and longtime member of the Second District and was a loyal Son of Omega.

This week's Monday Pearl is a precursor to a project underway by the Committee to produce biographies featuring the only two men to hold the Office of Grand Basileus from the Third District (since the formation of districts): 18th Grand Basileus Campbell Carrington Johnson (1945-47) and 19th Grand Basileus Harry Theodore Penn (1947-49).

The Committee has also included an interesting and somewhat related report of the 1946 Redistrictricting Committee that appeared in the March 1947 Oracle. Please read  to the end. It is encouraging to know that current and former Grands Dan Jones and Mark Jackson, Walter H. Riddick, Charles Chambliss, Kenneth Brown, Robert Fairchild, and Curtis Baylor have earned the confidence of the brotherhood and ascended to top leadership despite the historically challenging voting delegate landscape.

Do something for somebody this week Brothers.

Read More - 18th Grand Basileus Campbell C Johnson

Read More - 19th Grand Basileus Harry T Penn

Read More - Report of the Redistricting Committee

F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee

_______________________________
The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to 3dhistoryandarchives@gmail.com.