Opposite the historic Hippodrome Theater in the historic Jackson Ward area of Richmond, VA sits a placard that reads:
Before the Civil War this neighborhood was home to free blacks and enslaved individuals, along with European immigrants and Jewish residents. The area served as a city electoral district (1871-1903) and is still called Jackson Ward. By the early 20th century it had become one of the premier centers of African American business, social, and residential life in the United States. Black-owned businesses such as the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, the Southern Aid Insurance Company, the Richmond Planet newspaper, and Miller’s Hotel (later Eggleston Hotel) thrived during legalized racial segregation. In the 1950s the new interstate highway bisected Jackson Ward. In 1978 the area became a National Historic Landmark.
Like most historical markers, the Jackson Ward placard commemorates for some and introduces to others something of profound historical significance, inviting all passersby to learn more. This week’s Monday Pearl is the Third District History and Archives Committee’s official acceptance of that invitation. In our R.S.V.P., we’ve communicated to our host that we will be bringing with us the many loyal sons of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Over the next several months, through the Monday Pearl, we will present a fascinating and informative series on the Omega history that is Richmond history that is Black history. One of our own, and fourth generation Jackson Ward resident, Brother Gary L. Flowers (2-83-LZ), will “walk us through the Ward” enlightening us on the historic educational, economic, religious, and social institutions that inspired the name, “Black Wall Street, and “The Harlem of the South” and reflecting the Ward’s culturally historic past. Along the way, Brother Flowers will further enlighten us on the Omega men who played a major part in making this very important history.
As a primer, please make time to visit the “Walking the Ward with Gary Flowers” website (https://www.walkingtheward.com/) and check out the attached picture. Brother Flowers shared this picture In honor of some of the men who made Richmond, Virginia and the United States of America a better place for their descendants. The picture includes Omega men Stafford Flowers, David Dean, Louis Brown, Wilbert Foster, Rayford Harris, Sr., Francis Foster, Qually Moon, Bernard Whiting, Harold DeWitt, Walter White, Johnny Brooks, William Harris, George Brice, Walter Peyton, Anthony Rogers, William Causieestko, William Christian, William Burchette, Robert Kenny, J.B. Williams, Charles Nicholson, Alvin Morris, Linwood Binford, H. Gasden, Richard Foster, Carmen Foster, Frankie Foster Colette Foster, Kay Coles James, Alvin Morris, Lela Morris, Milton Brooks, Billy Harris, Eric Harris, Tracy Wolf, Troy Wolf, Larrita Harris, Rayford Harris, Jr., Sonya Harris, Terry J. Binford, Antionette Rogers, Kelly Harris-Braxton, Tracy Nicholson, and Charles Nicholson, Jr.
Finally, pn Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:00 a.m ET, Brother/Congressman James Clyburn will be interviewed by Brother Gary Flowers, host of The Gary Flowers Show, which can be heard on RejoiceRichmond.com, and viewed on Facebook Live at “Rejoice 101.3 FM”.
Should you have any questions or comments you’d like to share with Brother Flowers over the course of this series, or book a walking tour through Jackson Ward, please feel free to contact him at (773) 230-3554. Sounds like a great chapter fellowship opportunity!
Make it a great month Brothers. Be noble!
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 https://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 firstname.lastname@example.org.