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 10/29/18 – OMEGA VOTES

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