Third District History and Archives Monday Pearl 5/13/19 – Our Strength

 

Greetings Brothers,

At different times in our lives and in different ways Omega has helped to articulate and channel the many noble qualities interwoven in the fabric of the true Omega man - qualities that were in him even before he became Omega. After all, sheep can't make goat any more than cat can make dog. Thus, the answer to the question, "does Omega make men or do men make Omega?" is that Omega requires, implies, and demands that we manifestly apply the nobility within us to all that we do. But from where do we get our sense of nobility?

This Monday Pearl honors all the mothers who instilled virtue, goodness, honor, honesty, decency, integrity, magnanimity, generosity, selflessness, and bravery in all loyal Sons of Omega and in doing so, instilled the same in Omega. Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the Mary Matthews Justs (educator, founder of Maryville, and mother of Founder Ernest E. Just), Susie H. (Carr) Loves (mother of Founder Edgar Amos Love and first female graduate of Morgan College), Abbie Mitchell Cooks (mother of William Mercer Cook co-writer of Omega Dear and actress who played Clara in the premier production of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess), and Maggie L. Walkers (bank president, newspaper publisher, civil rights activist, and mother of Melvin D. Walker an early member of Zeta Chapter) of the world.  Perhaps Brother Hughes says it best.

The Negro Mother by Langston Hughes

Children, I come back today 
To tell you a story of the long dark way 
That I had to climb, that I had to know 
In order that the race might live and grow. 
Look at my face - dark as the night - 
Yet shining like the sun with love's true light. 
I am the dark girl who crossed the red sea 
Carrying in my body the seed of the free. 
I am the woman who worked in the field 
Bringing the cotton and the corn to yield. 
I am the one who labored as a slave, 
Beaten and mistreated for the work that I gave - 
Children sold away from me, I'm husband sold, too. 
No safety, no love, no respect was I due.

Three hundred years in the deepest South: 
But God put a song and a prayer in my mouth. 
God put a dream like steel in my soul. 
Now, through my children, I'm reaching the goal. 

Now, through my children, young and free, 
I realized the blessing deed to me. 
I couldn't read then. I couldn't write. 
I had nothing, back there in the night. 
Sometimes, the valley was filled with tears, 
But I kept trudging on through the lonely years. 
Sometimes, the road was hot with the sun, 
But I had to keep on till my work was done: 
I had to keep on! No stopping for me - 
I was the seed of the coming Free. 
I nourished the dream that nothing could smother 
Deep in my breast - the Negro mother. 
I had only hope then, but now through you, 
Dark ones of today, my dreams must come true: 
All you dark children in the world out there, 
Remember my sweat, my pain, my despair. 
Remember my years, heavy with sorrow - 
And make of those years a torch for tomorrow. 
Make of my pass a road to the light 
Out of the darkness, the ignorance, the night. 
Lift high my banner out of the dust. 
Stand like free men supporting my trust. 
Believe in the right, let none push you back. 
Remember the whip and the slaver's track. 
Remember how the strong in struggle and strife 
Still bar you the way, and deny you life - 
But march ever forward, breaking down bars. 
Look ever upward at the sun and the stars. 
Oh, my dark children, may my dreams and my prayers 
Impel you forever up the great stairs - 
For I will be with you till no white brother 
Dares keep down the children of the Negro Mother.

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.

History and Archives Monday Pearl 5/6/19 – Man of Letters

Greetings Brothers,

Maya Angelou once said that her "mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

Whether you're a serious or casual student of The Oracle one can't help but appreciate that the early Oracle editors championed a similar mission. These men were visionary and capable, an uncommon mix. They weren't merely reporters of events, but artists who proved that while art imitates life so does life imitate art.
One such editor was S. Malcolm Dodson who between 1928-1934 with passion, compassion, humor, and style arguably produced some of the best Oracles in the history of the periodical. During his editorship, Dodson masterfully delivered all the basics while also cleverly revealing the art in life and the life in art.
Allow me to present to some and introduce to others my friend and Dodson creation, Theophrastus Q Whipple, man of letters. I've also attached an article written by Dodson titled "Seven Years of the Oracle," in which Dodson reflects on his time as editor.
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 4/29/19 – Fables of Faubus

Greetings Brothers,
In 1987-1988 while a student at the University of Virginia, I remember taking two classes, one called "The History of the Civil Rights Movement" and the other called "The History of Jazz." I also recall these classes were considered by many in Thomas Jefferson's academic village (black and white) to be "schedule fillers" or "guts," as it were. Their purpose was to provide a break from the "intellectual rigor" of the traditionally rigorous. Think about that for a second. I mean, I get that these classes required a different challenge than organic chemistry and statistics, but I resented the characterization that they were something unimportant. In my mind and in this particular context/environment, there was something poignantly wrong with this narrative.I wanted/needed these classes to be important because they were relevant to my history and cultural experience and point of reference.. I needed somebody to recognize! Reducing these classes/topics to something lesser than was similar in my mind to the disrespect recently visited upon the Howard University community.. A rose by any other name...
My jaundiced reflections notwithstanding, these two classes were awesome. The first, taught by the late Julian Bond (Civil Rights leader), introduced me to the name Orval Faubus, a despicable character. The second, taught (believe it or not) by a cool white guy with a long goatee and black horn-rimmed glasses, introduced me to Charles Mingus, jazz musician. I remember that day in jazz class when the professor played Mingus' "Fables of Faubus," first recorded in 1959 and named after the racist Governor from Arkansas (1955-1967), who I had first learned about the previous semester in Professor Bond's class. The connection may not have landed me a good job upon graduation, but for me it was an important connection at that time and in that place. I remember feeling the need to connect to something culturally relevant and representative in a place that wasn't created with that end in mind. I regretfully didn't do much to change the narrative regarding these and similar classes. I'm sure I had a party to get to or some pretty lady to hold the door for. The revolution would have to wait. All was not lost, however. I began to read and listen and connect differently. Growth happened. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT2-iobVcdw&list=RDQT2-iobVcdw&index=1 . It brought back memories. Check it out.
At this point (or perhaps earlier), you might be thinking, "the H&A Chairman needs to get some sleep...what does this have to do with Omega history?" I wouldn't blame you for asking the question, however, I have an answer. While doing research on Brother Oliver W. Hill, Civil Rights attorney and longtime member of Phi Phi Chapter, I found these two articles juxtaposed in these clippings from the September 14, 1958 New York Daily News https://www.newspapers.com/clip/31059646/hillfaubus_1/ and https://www.newspapers.com/clip/31062095/hillfaubus_2/. One is an article about Hill and his efforts to desegregate Virginia schools and the other is about Faubus and his efforts to maintain the status quo. On second thought, the articles weren't juxtaposed as much as they were connected; just as Omega has been connected throughout its history to the service and uplift of mankind.  (More on Brother Oliver W. Hill in the weeks to come.) We are important; we just need to understand why and let that understanding order our steps.
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 4/22/19 – Second (1st) Card

Greetings Brothers and Happy Belated Easter. The History and Archives Committee is imbued with the spirit of renewal and resurrection and hopes to in some way spread this spirit through our efforts. In this week's Monday Pearl we highlight the contributions of Walter L. Smith, principal of the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, DC from 1921-1943., and charter member of Alpha Omega Chapter.
I am currently reading "Stony the Road," the latest book by historian and professor Henry Louis Gates, in which Gates explicates the forces at work that brought about the emancipation of the enslaved, the period of Reconstruction, and the response of white "redemption" enabled by Plessy v. Ferguson, home rule, Jim Crow, and domestic terrorism. In addition to racist laws and policies (and violence), the period of redemption that followed Reconstruction was characterized by a coordinated effort to depict black people as something less than human and incapable of advance and meaningful contribution outside of sharecropping and playing the minstrel. What followed the period of redemption was an effort on the part of many blacks to counter the racist narrative. Included in that number was Brother Walter L. Smith. Smith understood the fallacy and farce of racial inequality and he dedicated his life's work to the academic and personal development of countless young black students, many of whom went on to become Omega men and change the course of history. (Gates points to this historical pattern/pendulum as a reference for our current dilemma - Obama/Reconstruction, Trump/redemption. Perhaps a resurrection of our "post-white redemption" response will help the pendulum swing once again in our favor.)
We encourage you to read the information in the attached files in order by number. The third document is a clipping from the August 1931 Crisis that reports on 13 Dunbar students who went on to be awarded the Phi Beta Kappa key between 1920 and 1931. Of the 13 students listed, you are likely to recognize four stalwart Omegas (and perhaps more). We have uncovered documentation to suggest that a fifth, C.L. Marshall (Carter L. Marshall), was also an Omega Man. Marshall went on to become one of the Fraternity's first five District Representatives (see Dreer, pp. 38-39). Lastly, in the fourth document, you'll see several Omega men listed in the highlighted paragraph. All of these brothers were charter members of Alpha Omega Chapter.
The H&A Committee is interested in compiling a list of Phi Beta Kappa key holders in/from the Third District. If you are aware of any Omega men in/from the Third District who have been awarded the Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) key or know a PBK member who can provide us with a historical listing of PBK members (we called PBK and they said we had to be PBK to get that information), please contact the committee via email at that address below.
Make it a great week Brothers. Be renewed!
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 4/15/19 – EXTRA EXTRA

Greetings Brothers,

Congrats on a successful 86th Annual District Meeting and to all the worthy chapters and brothers who were deservedly recognized for their service. It is proper and fitting for this group to say thank you for making history. Please take time to upload pictures of your awards to the 3rd District Online Artifacts and Memorabilia Archive upload utility at https://3rddistrictques.org/third-district-archive-artifact-registration-utility/. You can examples of other similar submissions at https://3rddistrictques.pastperfectonline.com/.

In the late 1950s The Oracle was printed by the H.C. Young Press Company of Norfolk, VA. The printing company was owned and operated by Brother Henry Cheatham Young, businessman and community servant. The attached article appeared in the March 1957 Oracle and records Lambda Omega Chapter presenting H.C. Young with the "Omega 1956 Achievement Award" for his "devotion to duty and his work in the community." The History and Archives Committee pulled on a few of the threads in the article to learn more about Brother Young and discovered some interesting interconnections.

As mentioned in the article, H.C. Young was the brother of Plummer Bernard "P.B." Young, owner and editor of the Norfolk Journal and Guide (the Guide) (https://libraetd.lib.virginia.edu/public_view/mp48sc827), thought by many to be one of the top black newspapers of the 20th Century on par with the Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender, Baltimore and Washington Afro-American, and the Cleveland Call-Post.

The Guide was considered by many to be the top black newspaper in the South. In addition to its distinction as a vital civic organ, the Guide had the distinction among equals of having to survive and function in the Jim Crow South. Despite being criticized by some for being too conservative and conciliatory in its agency for social change, the Guide and its editor still played an important part in advancing voting rights, equal pay for teachers, and equal opportunity for blacks in the Armed Forces. From 1942 to 1948, Luther P. Jackson wrote a column in the Guide called “The Rights and Duties in a Democracy.” In that time, Brother Jackson wrote numerous articles on the importance of voter registration, argued for the elimination of the poll tax, appealed for teacher involvement in political affairs and engagement, advocated for better pay for black teachers, promoted black history, and argued for the end to Jim Crow segregation and discrimination against black people in Virginia.

In addition to writing a column in the Guide, Jackson along with Benjamin E. Mays and P.B. Young were key figures in organizing the Southern Conference on Race Relations in Durham, NC, also known as the Durham Conference, and the related drafting of the "Durham Manifesto," which proposed an approach for the South that would win the approval and support of white moderates, thereby salvaging the possibility of interracial cooperation. (see fully transcript https://archive.org/stream/southernconferen00sout/southernconferen00sout_djvu.txt).

There are likely more revelatory threads to be pulled from the hem of Brother H.C. Young's Achievement Week recognition (e.g., see Henry P. Cheatham https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_P._Cheatham). Unfortunately, Brother Young entered Omega Chapter in 1960, just three years after being recognized by Lambda Omega chapter. His brother, P.B. Young, died shortly thereafter in 1962.

The H&A Committee encourages Brothers from Eastern Area I (or elsewhere) to share information you might have on the intersection of Omega, H.C. Young, P.B. Young, or the Norfolk Journal and Guide. Here are a few old related news clippings for your review:

Read More - ExtraExtraHCYoung
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30613550/njg_controversial_ad/
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30614038/hcy_deceased/
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30619641/durham_manifesto/
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30619690/pb_young_and_truman/
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30619517/pby_speech/

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 4/8/19 – Those 8 Pages

Greetings Brothers,

While meandering, the History and Archives Committee came across the attached 8 pages in the Spring 1967 Oracle. If Brother Mazyck were around at the time, he might refer to them as "8 pages thoroughly indicative of the true Omega Spirit." The initiated would do well to reflect upon and/or familiarize themselves with the history recorded thereon. From Pi Gamma's promise to the Pettis example; from the first Black mayor of the City of Petersburg who received the first Scroll of Honor to Presidential appointments; from Maggie L. Walker to the Leigh Street YMCA; from winning homecoming floats to Brother Blue, the indefatigable traveling representative who  would surely have been there to witness how good and how pleasant it is. It's all in there, and more. (Note: Content begins at the bottom of the first page).

Make it a great week Brothers. Travel safe to the 86th District Meeting. Be noble!

Read More - Those8Pages

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 4/1/19 – Felled Trees

Greetings Brothers,

In early April 1950 as the chlorophyll enlivened nature's rhythm section and the cherry blossoms articulated the melody of the Washington cosmos, two of history's virtuosos, whose contributions filled the space between notes, played their last gig this side of the silk. On Saturday, April 1, 1950 and Monday, April 3, 1950, Charles Richard Drew and Carter Godwin Woodson debuted their tablature in the Elysian Fields. It is there where these two mighty sequoias continue to photosynthesize. Theirs is a familiar call looking for a perennial response. Let us not retire to the shade of their crown, but be fueled by the light in their refrain.

The History and Archives Committee recently came across the attached letters from February and May of 1950, which seemed to serve as contemporaneous accounts of extraordinary men in the ordinary ranks of Omega. We can only speculate that the Founders, although saddened by the loss of Brothers Woodson and Drew, must have been pleased with the fraternal and brotherly association they shared.

Make it a great week Brothers. Be noble!

Read More - DrewDuesRcpt1950

Read More - FelledTrees1950

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 3/25/19 – Heyday

Greetings Brothers,
There was big history at "The Little Conclave," otherwise known as the 32nd Annual Third District Conference (1965). Lawyers, doctors, and Indian Chiefs? Maybe. Omega Men? Indeed. Check out this worthy keepsake - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VhIS0CUpF73-5f5g6kGittu67iIHqKeA.
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 3/18/19 – 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.