January 2016

The Polmarch's Pen
by Eric Brown 

One-hundred-five and counting!

A little over 105 years ago, something great was created. We are the benefactors of an idea that 10 men on a predominately white campus in the state of Indiana that was also home to the vilest group of white men to ever walk the streets of this country. But even with such odds against them, these 10 men did not let their dreams be deterred. They overcame a helluva lot to persevere and birth something that is still a viable entity in the black community more than a century later.

What has happened within the fraternity, as well as in society, over the years since probably has our Founders turning over in their graves quite often. Elder Watson Diggs, Dr. Ezra Dee Alexander, Byron Kenneth Armstrong, Henry Tourner Asher, Marcus Peter Blakemore, Paul Waymond Caine, George Wesley Edmunds, Guy Levis Grant, Edward Giles Irvin, and John Milton Lee envisioned that what they created in Bloomington, Indiana on the campus of Indiana University was something that other college educated men of color would envy. The irony of these ten men coming together for a purpose is similarly resonate to the document penned in September 1903 by W.E.B. DuBois.

It was then when Mr. DuBois stated that the Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. And no doubt; our 10 Founders are an exceptional group. One can easily say that they were the epitome of that ‘Talented Tenth’ which W.E.B., spoke of. It is knowing the history of our fraternities birth which give cause to allow me to pause and celebrate them; not just on January 5th every year, but all year long. It is the understanding of me conceptualizing as best I can to know what they sacrificed and went through to lay the foundation for what all of us as Kappa men today are obligated to live out the realization of a vision they made clear.

A little over seventy-two and a half years after the founding of this great organization, I took my place amongst these great men by kneeling at that Delphic Shrine and eventually had my named inscribed on the scroll. A great scroll which earned me every right to continue to always live out the objectives that have been laid out by our own Talented Tenth. This great man knew back in 1911 how important then as it is now; to unite college men of culture, patriotism and honor in a bond of fraternity. They knew the importance of encouraging honorable achievement in every field of human endeavor. Forming a unique brotherhood on the predominately white campus of Indiana University, it was tantamount to promote the spiritual, social, intellectual and moral welfare of members. And with going to college not being guaranteed for people of color back then; particularly institutions of higher learning in the North; our Talented Tenth made it a point to assist the aims and purpose of colleges and universities. Lastly; knowing how important serving the community was, our Talented Tenth found it to be of the utmost importance to inspire service in the public interest.

So as we celebrate another anniversary of the founding of this great fraternity; BROTHERS, please take a moment to think about what this organization means to you and what the Founders expect of you and from you. As we drink from the same canteen to talk about how much we love Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated……ask yourself this: “Do you really love this institution or are you just going through the motions without understanding what it means to rededicate yourself to this fraternity and our Talented Tenth who started it all?’

Happy 105th anniversary of the founding of this great organization and I wish it many, many more good tidings to come. TEXELWOLS my Brothers!

Moments is Kappa History

by Harrison Reed Duke, III

Over the 105 years of Kappa Alpha Psi history, there have been four major changes to the membership process.  The first 8 years men seeking membership into our Nobel Bond were given the title of “Initiates”.   In 1919 the innovative “Scroller’s Club”, the first pledge club developed by a Negro Greek Letter organization was introduced.   Grand Chapter officially made the “Scroller’s Club”, the foundation of the membership process in, 1928.  In 1989 the “Scroller’s Club” was officially disbanded by Grand Chapter, yet lingered within the fraternity until 1994.  From 1994 to 2015, the MOIP/Membership Orientation Intake Program was created and developed to become the official membership process for the fraternity.   Today, 2015 the fourth retooling, redesign of our membership process has been developed and instituted by the fraternity.  The MTA/Management Training Academy became the law of the land, officially sanctioned by Grand Chapter at the 82nd Grand Chapter Meeting, New Orleans.  Fraternity members have  placed ourselves into a very grave and perilous position because of selfish acts, that are inconsiderate of “pledgees” health, welfare and mental state.   Collegiate hazing is now a crime, on the state and federal level.  Death, internal head injuries, organ failure, broken bones, etc. were common “pledgee” occurrences not only within Kappa but the College Greek Community in general.  Remember brother’s there have been over 3,000 deaths within the college Greek Community over the past 35 years.  This risky behavior cannot continue, or our beloved Kappa will experience an ugly demise.  Kappa Alpha Psi has always been a leader in the reform of any “pledge/membership” process since 1939; the formation of the NHPC, ending unacceptable pledge activities 1948, legislation to stop over the top violent pledge activities 1989, creation of the MOIP process ultimately embraced by all Black Greek organizations.  The MTA program is a pledge club by a different name.  A five-week overt, transparent membership process MTA was developed by some of the most dedicated men of Kappa.  The entire process is developed and designed to make the “pledge, candidate” safe and protect the fraternity from litigation.  This is our last stand!  We do not have room for error on any level.  University officials, the insurance industry, law enforcement and politicians have all challenged Kappa to improve the membership process immediately.  These institutions have made demands on Kappa to change or; be labeled uninsurable, not allowed to have a chapter on the college campus, not allowed to rent venues to have functions, face arrest, jail, and possible career ending opportunities.  Our fate is in our hands.  Support the MTA.  Encourage the body of Kappa men to accept the MTA, by educating brothers about the program.  Have meaningful dialogue with your sands, chapter members, financial and non-financial men, undergrads and alumni, to accept a new chapter in the History of Kappa Alpha Psi.  Communicate illegal, risky and dangerous pledge activities to our Chapter Leadership, immediately.  The MTA will succeed only with the overwhelming support from the body of Kappa men.  Apathy is an unacceptable excuse, not worthy of “men of achievement”.   “Oh how I love Kappa, because it first loved me”.  Be optimistic about the possibilities.