Greetings Brothers,

The H&A Committee would first like to recognize the birthday of our late Brother Charles R. Drew who was born on this day in 1904. Early in the Monday Pearl series we shared a great article on Brother Drew written by his wife, Lenore Robbins Drew.  Please check it out by clicking this link We can’t share it enough. Thanks to Mrs. Drew’s reflections we know much more about our good brother. He amounted to much more than the sum of his accomplishments. As Mrs. Drew describes, his biggest accomplishments never made it to Wikipedia.

This week’s Monday Pearl is somewhat of a personal indulgence. In this STEM dominated world, I submit that art and the liberal arts are not only still useful, but never more important. After all, intelligence should never be artificial and human connection should never be governed or otherwise filtered by algorithm. While hard drives store and retrieve data and fancy software can quickly analyze patterns and trends in the data, human conveyance of human experience, interpretation, and feeling will always be (or at least should be) important to understanding. As a medium, art and the liberal arts (literature, journalism, and communications to name a few) will always have more bandwidth (i.e., capacity to connect) than any fiber optics.

Indulge me. As I am want to do on a Sunday, I used my phone and its Bluetooth technology to connect to my Bluetooth sound box (my grandfather used to call it white man’s magic) so I could visit with, talk to, and be transported by my friend Aretha Franklin. She’s the best pastor I’ve ever had and though I’ve never met her in person, through her art – her gift – we not only connect, we relate. Listen to “Mary , Don’t You Weep” recorded live at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in LA 1972 and you’ll know what I mean. When she tells Mary not to weep, Martha not to worry, and calls on their brother Lazarus to stand up…yeah, you’ll know what I mean. Like Mary, Each song is a story…a personal account…an anecdote rich with context and texture.

And so it is with the liberal artist – the recorder, writer, and teller of stories. Collectively, his anecdotes  more fully shape and give context and texture to our understanding, particularly of history and historical points of reference. The better artists make it so we don’t just know the story, but relate to the story. Over the years, Omega has had many such storytellers. The Oracle is a fund of anecdotes.

While watching the basketball game, I stumbled on an interesting account of “Harlem During the Negro Renaissance” by Arthur P. Davis in the Summer 1971 Oracle. Brother Davis was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and first black student to be awarded a Ph.D in English from Columbia University (1942). He served Omega in many capacities, most notably longtime chairman of the National Scholarship Commission, appointed in 1954 by 22nd Grand Basileus John F. Potts, Sr. to help improve the state undergraduate scholarship. Davis became a full professor of English at Howard University in 1944, where he eventually led the English department until his retirement in 1980. In 1968, Davis directed the first Ph.D dissertation in English at Howard University.

Please find Davis’ article “Harlem During the Negro Renaissance” attached, along with articles from the March 1954 Oracle describing the Fraternities new scholarship initiative and Brother Davis’ appointment to lead the effort.

Make it a great week Brothers, and if you happen to have kids who are aspiring engineers, scientists, mathematicians, or technologists, encourage them to take a few English classes along the way.  Be noble!

Read More – DavisHarlem_Summer1971Oracle

Read More – DavisScholarship_March1954Oracle


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 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