Greetings Brothers!

We live in dynamic and uncertain times, and as much as the times seemingly necessitate a new normal, I welcome and have been comforted by the familiar normalcy of the Fraternity. Returning from summer break to my local chapter’s September meeting, attending the Third District Fall Council Meeting, and preparing with my brothers to “put the shoulder to the wheel” for Omega has been reassuring and has buoyed the spirit. Let us remain ever mindful that we are members of the greatest organization of African American men in the world and let us never take Omega for granted.

Speaking of not taking the important for granted, I couldn’t help but think about the planning underway, by I presume most chapters, for our first mandated program of the new fraternal year – Achievement Week. For some (and perhaps for me at one point) Achievement Week has been a programmatic fixture in Omega, one we can count on every November. With the exception of the brothers who so ably plan and execute the various Achievement Week programs, dare I say we take it for granted. We shouldn’t.

As most of us know, this annual celebration, observance, and instrument of change, had its genesis in the concurrence of ideas of Carter G. Woodson and other Omega men like John H. Purnell in the early 1920s. After a few fits and starts mixed with a little steel sharpening steel, what we now know as Omega’s National Achievement Week program found its legs in 1927 under the direction of Brother Linwood G. Koger. In the 20 years or so that followed, the aim of the program was to inspire race pride, celebrate “Negro” achievement despite the “Negro” circumstance, and to communicate to youth that he/she too could achieve like others before them have.

As the Fraternity decidedly oriented its focus on social action in the mid-1940s, so too did the intent and objective of its programs, a change not lost on Achievement Week. In 1948, the Director of the National Achievement Week program was A.G. Macklin, loyal son of the Third District, ushered in the new programmatic paradigm. For example, in 1930 the Achievement Week Essay Contest them was any one of the following: “The Negro in Literature and Art; Commercial Enterprises; The Negro in The Professions; Politicians and Statesmen especially as related to the period of reconstruction; or Selected Biographies of Famous Men and Women of Color.” The theme in 1948, as set by Brother Macklin, was “Make America Safe by Insuring Justice for All” (how so does history repeat itself).

The change from recognition and awareness to mobilization and action presented the Achievement Week with another existential challenge. Because the program was calibrated to change the status quo, it was met with predictable resistance. Equally predictable was Omega’s resolve. Please make time to read the attached historical markers and as we prepare to support, attend, and celebrate Achievement Week in November, let us never take for granted the history of this mandated program, the brothers who were good stewards of its welfare, and the program’s agency over the years.

Read More – ReadFirst_Dreer

Read More – ReadSecond_Sep1948Oracle

Read More – ReadThird_DCFight

Make it a great week Brothers. Be noble and ACHIEVE!

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