History and Archives Monday Pearl 11/5/18 – OMEGA VOTES 2

Greetings Brothers,
This is the second of a two-part sharing of information related to Omega's historical involvement in civic engagement vis-a-vis voter registration, education, and mobilization (VREM). Last week we reported on the number of instances of VREM references in the Oracle from 1919-1959, and related trends. This week we report on the same between 1960-2018.and related trends, Our objective, given the importance of the upcoming mid-term elections, is to provide Brothers with a historical point of reference with the expressed purpose of motivating all Brothers to honor the legacy we have inherited by doing our part to GET OUT THE VOTE.

In this second part, the Committee combed through 104 Oracles published between 1960 and 2018 looking for all references to VREM activities and related trends here in the Third District and fraternity-wide. Our research revealed the following:
  • From 1960-1969 VREM activities/content appeared 55 times. From 1970-1979 VREM activities/content appeared 41 times. From 1980-1989 VREM activities/content appeared 66 times (however, the majority of these instances (53) occurred from 1980-1984. Early 1980s activism and the 1984 presidential election, which included the campaign of our own Brother Jesse Jackson, were contributing factors. After 1984, there is a noticeable drop off. From 1990-1999 VREM activities/content appeared 22 times. From 2000-2009 there were 37 instances (many of which were related to the 2004 presidential election). From 2010-2018 there were 18 instances).
  • From 1960-1982, VREM was a priority program. Beginning in the early to mid-1980s, the tone of the VREM reporting began to change from enthusiastic, purposeful, and hopeful participation fraternity-wide to concern over voter and programmatic apathy.
  • Beginning with the 32nd Grand Basileus Dr. L. Benjamin Livingston, calls from leadership to amplify our VREM activity in response to voter apathy and mediocre programming began to appear in the pages of the Oracle.Other leaders who lent their voice to the cause were Benjamin Hooks, Vernon Jordan, James Nabrit, Roy Wilkins, Grand Basileus I Gregory Newton, Grand Basileus Anthony Knox, and Benjamin Mays.
  • VREM reporting increased during presidential election years but decreased during mid-term election years.
  • VREM reporting related to local and state elections was limited and typically appeared when a fraternity brother was a candidate.
  • There was comparatively little VREM reporting prior to the 2008 presidential election when Obama was elected. There were only three reports of VREM activity between 2008-2010.
  • Reporting of undergraduate involvement in VREM activities has notably decreased over the years and is almost non-existent in the last decade.
As we combed through the Oracles, we "extracted" the VREM references to make it easier to quickly access the information. In many cases, we highlighted the content of interest to further help quickly identify the reference. Because the references are many, we have attached just a few here. All references can be downloaded by clicking on https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ElgoPYwA02F72-sf-fQmjxnXO37HbGcp. We urge to browse through/read all of the information as you can...perhaps there are lessons in the arc of our VREM activity over time.
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.
Read More - 1960 May, Oracle

Read More - 1973 Summer, Oracle-2

Read More - 1979 Summer, Oracle-2a

Read More - 1980 Summer, Oracle-3

Read More - 1980 Fall, Oracle

Read More - 1984 Summer-Fall, Oracle
F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee

History and Archives Monday Pearl 10/29/18 – OMEGA VOTES

Greetings Brothers,

The theme of this week's Monday Pearl is "Omega Votes." This is the first part of a two part sharing of information prior to the 2018 mid-term elections exploring Omega's legacy of civic engagement vis-a-vis voter registration, education, and mobilization (VREM). Given the importance of the upcoming mid-term elections, the Committee was compelled to provide Brothers with a historical point of reference with the expressed purpose of motivating all Brothers to honor the legacy we have inherited by doing our part to GET OUT THE VOTE.

In this first part, the Committee combed through 113 Oracles published between 1919 and 1959 looking for all references to VREM activities here in the Third District and fraternity-wide. Our research revealed the following:
  • Prior to 1928, references to VREM activities in the Oracle were largely by proxy (i.e., through the reprint of speeches by politicians or other civic leaders, or as a tertiary theme in a fictional literary entry). After 1927, editorials, opinion pieces, commentary on the unrealized gains at the polls post-15th Amendment, and calls for "Negro" advancement by way of the ballot became increasingly conspicuous in our national publication.
  • The early and eventual shift in the majority Negro/Black vote from Republican to Democrat is chronicled fairly well in the Oracle.
  • From 1928-1929 there were four instances of VREM-related content in the Oracle, from 1930-1939 there were 15, from 1940-1949 there were 24, and from 1950-1959 there were 21.
  • Brother Ellis F. Corbett of Lambda Omega Chapter was an early adopter and advocate providing much of he early VREM leadership in the Third District.
  • In the 1940's and 1950's annual Essay Contest themes were often VREM-related. Check out the winner in 1956 (printed in March 1957).
  • Harry T. Penn, former Grand Basileus, former Third District Representative, and former Basileus and longtime member of Gamma Alpha Chapter was an outspoken and active advocate for voting rights and the Black vote. (Former Grand Basileus Grant Reynolds shared Brother Penn's VREM interests.)
  • Social Action initiatives in the 1940s and 1950s always included VREM.
  • Undergraduates were notably active in VREM.
  • Many Brothers participated in and led VREM initiatives inside and outside of Omega.
As we combed through the Oracles, we "extracted" the VREM references to make it easier to quickly access the information. In many cases, we highlighted the content of interest to further help quickly identify the reference. Because the references are many, we have attached just a few here. All references can be downloaded by clicking on https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LkULVJSxjyjKZ7xyoIbo6O5DUmUjCcVb?usp=sharing. We urge to read all of the information as you can...there is some really good stuff in here.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.

Read More - 1928 October, Oracle (1)

Read More - 1928-1-14 The Districts of Omega

Read More - 1936 June, Oracle 

Read More - 1948 December, Oracle

Read More - 1950 May, Oracle

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

History and Archives Monday Pearl 10/22/18

Greetings from the 3rd District History and Archives Committee:

Lest we forget Brother Walter "Crow" Riddick - Grand Keeper of Records and Seal Emeritus, Life Membership Chairman Emeritus, 2nd Third District Representative, and former Basileus and longtime member of the exceptionally historic and consequential Lambda Omega Chapter in Norfolk, Virginia.

We hope you enjoy reading these few excerpts from past Oracles that provide a window into the life and service of this loyal Son of Omega. 

It is recorded that Brother Riddick attended St. Paul College, North Carolina A&T, and Morehouse College (where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree). There is some evidence that our late Brother Riddick was initiated into Mu Psi Chapter while attending North Carolina A&T. Should anyone be able to provide documentation confirming Brother Riddick's initiation chapter and year, the Committee would greatly appreciate your sharing (3dhistoryandrchives@gmail.com).

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.

Read More - 1976 Winter 1977 Spring Oracle

Read More - 1977 Winter Oracle-1

Read More - 1977 Winter Oracle-2

Read More - 1979 Summer Oracle

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

History and Archives Monday Pearl 10/15/18



"Click the above document to see full page"


Greetings from the 3rd District History and Archives Committee:

Put this one in the category of "Who knew?" While researching the evolution of the Third District, the Committee consulted with Brother Jonathan "Flash" Matthews (7-Spr83-A), who was kind enough to share the attached letter dated January 14,1928. The letter was written by District Representative Dallas F. Nicholas to Grand Keeper of Records and Seals (per letterhead, "Seals" was plural) Walter H. Mazyck, Esq.  The letterhead on which the letter appears contains in the margin a list of 17 District Representatives documenting the same number of Districts. Although there are likely some Brothers who knew this about our history, the Committee thought we'd share for those who may have been unaware.

Thanks to Brother Matthews, son of the Third District and longtime contributor to the discovery, documentation, and telling of our story.

In addition, last week's Monday Pearl referenced the work of Brother William A. Brower (1936 Upsilon), accomplished and ground-breaking journalist. In response, Brothers offered more information on Brother Brower's extraordinary and Omega Caliber example we hope you enjoy reading.

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.

Read More - 1928-1-14 The Districts of Omega

Read More - Brother William Brower

Read More - Brother William Brower Biography

Read More - Brother William Brower Newspaper Guild 



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

History and Archives Monday Pearl: Brothers William Brower and Joe Black

Greetings from the 3rd District History and Archives Committee:

The H&A Committee prays this message finds you well. As the Ides of October are upon us, Major League Baseball's pennant race is well under way. It made us think of a time when the issue of race excluded us from participation in our so called national pastime and reminded us of two articles we stumbled on recently chronicling Omega's involvement in our advancement on all fronts. The first, an editorial calling for the desegregation of the national leagues that appeared in the December 1942 Oracle. The piece was written by Brother William Brower, a prolific journalist and sports writer who wrote for the Oracle from the late 1930s to the mid 1940s. The second, an article that appeared 10 years later in the December 1952 Oracle on the accomplishments of Brother Joe Black, pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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.

Read More - Brother William Brower

Read More - Brother Joe Black

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

History and Archives Monday Pearl: Brother Charles “Charlie” Drew

Greetings from the 3rd District History and Archives Committee:

The Committee hopes you enjoy reading the reflections of Mrs. Lenore Robbins Drew, wife of Brother Charles "Charlie" Drew.  Her perspective on her husband's many accomplishments seemed more revealing about the person (and the Omega in him) than the professional record.  You have to read to the end, but it seems she believed her husband's greatest accomplishment was not so much his blood plasma work as it was his values and principles, and the interest he took in others' success. Omega caliber to be sure.

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.

Read More - Brother Charles "Charlie" Drew

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

History and Archives Monday Pearl (9-24-18)

Greetings from the 3rd District History and Archives Committee (9-24-18):
The Committee hopes you enjoy reading this 1941 letter from Founder Oscar J. Cooper to Brother George A. Isabelle illuminating Founder Cooper's perspective on the importance of service as a fundamental element to the Fraternity's purpose.
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.
F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee

History and Archives Monday Pearl (9-17-18)

Greetings from the 3rd District History and Archives Committee (9-17-18):

The Monday Pearl 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.

In our first edition of the Monday Pearl, we highlight the life and accomplishments of Brother William Henry Hastie, Jr. The attached research was compiled in connection with the Alpha Omega "Lest We Forget" (LWF) initiative, a chapter Reclamation and Retention effort in which Brothers gathered to fellowship around and reflect upon the Fraternity’s history, principles, accomplishments, and current and future relevance and purpose. The method of exploration and reflection was primarily (but not entirely) by way of biographical discovery and related discourse. LWF endeavored to get Brothers talking about Omega in such a way that each could more readily discover or re-discover his own compelling and mobilizing connection to Omega. This Hastie event occurred in 2016. We have provided the flyer used to advertise the event in case chapters are interested in organizing something similar. Please contact us if you have questions, or need help implementing something similar in your chapter.

Please read at your leisure, as this first installment of the Monday Pearl is somewhat lengthy. Subsequent installments will be of varying length, and likely less lengthy.

Read More - Brother William Hastie Jr.

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