Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 3/18/19 – The Frat in the Arena

Greetings Brothers,
Roughly 18 months before the founding of Omega, former POTUS Teddy Roosevelt delivered a speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, France titled "Citizenship in a Republic." If you played ball at some point in your life, or perhaps even if you didn't play ball, someone likely shared with you a popular excerpt from Roosevelt's speech. The excerpt, popularly referred to as "The Man in the Arena," is probably more recognizable than the speech it appeared in and goes as follows:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
I recently came across this correspondence (click here to download https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lXuAv1YXrEIqjKv1hAtaKkDLQ0U8o7ZB) in a larger collection of documents from the 57th Grand Conclave in Atlanta, GA (1976) that seemed to me to underscore Omega's legacy as "The Frat in the Arena" that "does actually strive to do the deeds; [that] knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; [that] spends [it]self in a worthy cause."
Make it a great week Brothers. Be noble!
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 3/11/19 – Extraordinary Qualities and Abilities

Greetings Brothers,
I couldn't help but enjoy this short article that appeared in the September 1963 Oracle highlighting the happenings at Nu Psi chapter. I paraphrase - there is a place for mediocrity, just not in Omega.
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 3/4/19 – Oh Nellie!



Greetings Brothers,

The Cornell University Big Red football team ended its 1938 season ranked 12th in the nation with a 5-1-1 record. That year the Big Red played the University of Pennsylvania to a draw and suffered its only loss on October 15th to the Syracuse Orangemen. The 1938 Cornell-Syracuse game was one for the ages, worthy of a Keith Jackson "Oh Nellie."  Syracuse fought hard to best Cornell 19-17. Earlier that same year (in April), the teams' biggest stars, Jerome Heartwell "Brud" Holland of Cornell and Wilmeth Sidat-Singh of Syracuse were initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated by way of Kappa Chapter. Brother Holland and the Cornell Big Red were heavy favorites and were expected to put a little black and blue on the Orangemen, By all accounts, Syracuse didn't stand a chance. Enter Brother Sidat-Singh, who "buckled right in with the trace of a grin - On his face. If he worried he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing - That couldn’t be done, and he did it! The following appeared in the 1938 Bulletin -
Saga of Sidat-Singh

The sons of Syracuse may now
yell .at a new, exotic saga,
Of a magic spell that entranced
Cornell in the vale of the
Onandaga.

The shades of night were falling
fast and the score was 10 to
zero, When Sidat-Singh, the wizard,
passed six times to become a
hero.
By some mysterious, dervish art
he could rifle a pigskin bullet
From the scrimmage heart or·a
spinner's start to the runner
left free to pull it.

Then Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, in
sooth, just thrice did loose his
missile, 
To Heer, to Balmer, then to Ruth,
and they heard the touchdown
whistle.

That made the score stand six
to ten, but Fullback Brown
like lightning,
Soon struck again through the
Orangemen with a field-length
run that was frightening.

But there stood Sidat-Singh once
more, cool as a cobra striking,
In place of Ruth he made Allen
score with a pass through
Peck, the Viking.

So on Piety Hill the great chimes
ring-they peal in ancient
splendor,
For the sorcerous wing of Sidat-
Singh-black-artful bitterender.
But in Ithaca now the sad ·boys
ring their change on a bitter
theme-

"Did :vou see that thing ? That's
Sidat-Singh - the Syracuse
Walking Dream."

The legendary game was also colorfully recorded in the the Baltimore Sun that year...have a read - https://www.newspapers.com/clip/29095704/.  

Brothers Holland and Sidat-Singh would go on to exemplify the best of Omega. Brother Holland became the ninth President of Hampton University (formerly Hampton Institute) and Brother Sidat-Sing became a Tuskegee Airmen serving in World War II. Tragically, Brother Sidat-Sing died in 1943 at the age of 25 during a training mission when the engine of his airplane failed. Biographical profiles of these two Omega exemplars can be found on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmeth_Sidat-Singh and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_H._Holland.

The H&A Committee has also attached the first page of the 1938 Bulletin for your reference. In addition to the Sidat-Singh and Brud Holland mentions, check out the article, "Requiescat In Pace" (Rest in Peace). It was news to this loyal son of Omega that Booker T. Washington's youngest son was an Omega man.

Make it a great week Brothers!

Read More - Singh-Holland_1938Bulletin

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 2/25/19 – Timeless Tolson?


Greetings Brothers,
One of the things I have long admired about Melvin Beaunorus Tolson was his courage to think independently for constructive progress. No matter his disappointment in or rejection of the issue of the day, he remained tethered and accountable to the remedy and always required the same of his interlocutor. His intellectual endurance was proportionate to the depth of his conviction, and his convictions were deep. He didn't give up. He kept reasoning, working, risking, challenging, and inviting thoughtful engagement through his journalistic provocations. Although his steel could be especially cold, it was always steel against which another's steel could be sharpened.

In the attached 1938 editorial, Tolson has a little cold steel for Omega. I'll let the reader determine its timelessness.

Read More - Timeless Tolson

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 2/18/19 – 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 1/21/19 – Metadata: Love, Mays, Nelson, Mahatma, and Martin

Greetings Brothers,
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines metadata as data that provides information about other data. The History and Archives Chairman’s Dictionary of Conveniently Useful Non-Words defines “metapeople” as people whose influence provides insight into the being of other people. In this week’s Monday Pearl, in celebration of the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we briefly highlight some of the “metapeople” who informed Dr. King’s spirituality and faith, commitment to non-violence, leadership style, conviction, and courage.

Although a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, it is well-documented that some of Dr. King’s biggest influences were Omega Men. Dr. King’s father, Martin Luther King, Sr., Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and Morehouse College Trustee, was a good friend of Brother Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Morehouse College President Emeritus. When young Martin Luther King, Jr. himself attended Morehouse, he found a mentor in Dr. Mays and later described Mays as his “spiritual mentor.” Early in his career, Mays took an interest in the nonviolent methods of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1936, while the Dean of the Howard University School of Religion, Mays was selected as one of 13 Americans to attend the 1937 World Conference of the YMCA in Mysore, India. The purpose of the conference was to study the complex problems confronting youth around the world. While in India, Mays requested a meeting with, and eventually met Gandhi, with whom he discussed in great length the efficacy of nonviolence. In his autobiography, Born to Rebel, Mays reflected, “When I questioned Gandhi on the charge that the nonviolent man who violates the law has no respect for it, Gandhi’s response was that the nonviolent man is law-abiding in that he is willing to pay the price when he disobeys unjust laws. Later, this part of my experience with Gandhi was to give me a deeper understanding than most persons of the program of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Another King “metaperson” was William Stuart Nelson (1916 Alpha), who along with his line brothers, Campbell Carrington Johnson and Walter Herbert Mazyck, served in World War I and was commissioned at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa during World War I. Nelson was one of many distinguished Omega men who comprised The War Chapter. Discharged as a first lieutenant, Nelson returned to from the war to eventually become the Second Editor of the Oracle, Dean of the Howard School of Religion, and President of Dillard University. Over the course of his life, Nelson became ‘internationally known as an exponent of the philosophy of nonviolence. He had been a friend of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi and had walked with both in protest marches.’ When Nelson sent him his 1958 article “Satyagraha: Gandhian Principles of Non-Violent Non-Cooperation,” King wrote that it was “one of the best and most balanced analyses of the Gandhian principles of nonviolent, noncooperation that I have read.”

Lastly, in his thesis, Of Vision and Power: The Life of Bishop Edgar Amos Love, Brother J. Samuel Cook, wrote, “the sense of urgency which Edgar Love felt with respect to ending segregation—and the accompanying anger over its persistence—was one shared among most black leaders during the 1950s and 1960s. Love’s contentious opposition to William Faulkner’s “Letter to the North” [advocated against compulsory integration] was a precursor to Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1964 polemic Why We Can’t Wait. For those who haven’t heard the 1962 sermon by Founder Love, The Challenge of the Difficult, please click on http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/itcaudio/4/ to listen.  Motivating indeed.

Please also read the attached eulogy delivered by Brother Dr. Benjamin E. Mays upon the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The History and Archives Committee wishes everyone a meaningful Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Read More - Benjamin Mays Delivers Final Eulogy for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr
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 1/7/19 – Omegaism



Greetings Brothers,

Are your Omega credentials in tact? Before you reach for your frat card, check the IHQ member database, or place a call to your chapter KRS, please read the attached editorial published in the April 1927 Oracle by then Editor, John P. Murchison.

Make it a great week Brothers. Do something good for somebody.
Read More - The Omega Personality
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